Casino comes up trumps with bat
WADE Sweeney and Mick Wood emerged as the heroes when the Casino Cavaliers edged out Cudgen in the LJ Hooker League cricket semi-final at Queen Elizabeth Park, Casino, yesterday.
The Cavaliers chased down a total of 187 to win the match with three wickets in hand.
Sweeny (19 not out) finished off in style by blasting a boundary in what turned out to be a fitting swansong in his final home match for Casino.
"It's funny because me and Mick always give the batsman a spray about us having to get the runs down the order," Sweeney said.
"I was cramping up and thought to myself I better start swinging to get it over and done with.
"I've been travelling back from Brisbane all year and I've had enough of the travel."
Tensions reached fever pitch on Saturday afternoon when Cudgen captain Terry Wilson was reported after a run-in with the two umpires.
"There were some little things I let get to me and I'm not sure what will happen now," Wilson said.
"We know we're in for a hard slog whenever we play Casino and there is a good rivalry building."
The Cavaliers were made to work for it after losing the wickets of top-order batsman Sam Irvine and Todd Summers straight after lunch yesterday.
Myles McDowell (28) and Jake Hellyar (25) made handy contributions with a 48-run partnership.
Casino captain Al Nowlan was thrilled to escape with the win.
"I had my doubts for a while there because they were bowling so well," Nowlan said.
"I think they have a few blokes on report too, so it's a big rivalry.
"Everyone got a bit of a start with the bat but that partnership between Wade and Woody at the end under pressure was a definite highlight.
"They've done that a couple of times now."
Nowlan was pleased to see McDowell get some runs on the board.
"He's had a really tough year and he stepped up today," Nowlan said.
"He was probably what got us back on top and it was a good knock under pressure."
A wet ground at Fripp Oval, Ballina, prevented any play in the other semi-final featuring Bears and Tintenbar-East Ballina.
The Bears' Shane Jacobs said the wicket had been covered all week and would have been fit for play but the rest of the infield and the outfield were far too wet to get on.
As minor premiers, Bears progress to the final on Saturday and Sunday, when they will host the Cavaliers.
Nowlan is confident in his men as they aim for their third-consecutive premiership.
"Nobody really went on to get a big score but hopefully someone can kick on next week," he said.
"It's set up for a great final."