Titenbar-East Ballina batsman Abe Crawford during the game against South Ballina at Kingsford Smith Park in Ballina.
Titenbar-East Ballina batsman Abe Crawford during the game against South Ballina at Kingsford Smith Park in Ballina. Marc Stapelberg

Cricket team going deep at the bar

TOP-ORDER batsmen Abe Crawford, Nathan Hoey and Luke Hamilton form one of the strongest batting units in Far North Coast LJ Hooker League cricket.

The trio scored 1736 runs and five centuries between them last season with Craw- ford and Hamilton involved in representative teams.

The 'Bar scored 335 in a two-day game against Lennox Head and could score plenty of runs again when they take on Murwillumbah at Rabjones Oval, Murwillumbah, this weekend.

"We've had a strong top order for years and we want to keep scoring runs so it takes pressure off the young guys below us,” Hoey said.

"In the past if the runs haven't come from the top that's been our undoing in pushing for the premiership.

"A few quick wickets have put us under the pump in big games at the business end and we haven't recovered.”

The 'Bar look to have more depth in the middle order this season with all-rounder Jacob Cox scoring 55 against Lennox Head while Cameron Daniels made 91.

Hoey has captained the side for a few years now while Callum Carmont has been a regular in the top order and will look for more runs this season.

They have a young side but still have experienced left-hander Mick Warburton and former NSW Country representative Brett Craw- ford in the lower grades.

"Cameron is a cruisy sort of character and I like the way he goes about things,” Hoey said.

"He's made a few good starts but never really gone on with it but he's only just turned 21 so he has plenty of cricket ahead of him.

"Brett is captain of second grade this season but he said he would come up if needed so it's nice to have a few old heads that you can rely on.”

Tintenbar have been lucky that they have managed to bat in all three games of a rain-affected season.

However, with a competition bye scheduled next weekend for the First Test at the 'Gabba, this could be the last time they have Crawford and Hamilton until next year.

Both will play in the Regional Big Bash Twenty20 competition for Northern Rivers Rock at Coffs Harbour on December 3.

A win there would see them into the final at the SCG the following weekend and not back with the 'Bar until the Hooker League resumes on January 6.

"Everyone always says you need to be in the top four by Christmas because of the rain but it's already raining,” Hoey said.

"I don't know much about Murwillumbah but the boys are keen for me to win the toss and have a hit.”

In other games:

Lennox Head host Alstonville at Megan Crescent Oval, Lennox Head.

Ballina Bears take on the Casino Cavaliers at Fripp Oval, Ballina.

Cudgen plays Marist Brothers at Reg Dalton Oval, Kingscliff.

Competition leaders Pottsville have the bye.



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