Cronin edges closer to cricket comeback
LENNOX Head opening bowler Oliver Cronin is closing in on his return from a broken thumb in Far North Coast LJ Hooker League cricket.
He has been restricted to just one game this season while opening partner Caelan Maladay recently moved to Sydney.
Cronin took 30 wickets last season and also scored a century against Cudgen before they went on to win the premiership.
“He’s on a holiday in Japan but he’ll be right to go when he gets back in the first week of February,” Lennox Head captain Adam Fisher said.
“I think his thumb has healed enough where he would have been right to bowl now if he was home.
“It’s not just his bowling we’ve missed, he showed last year he has the ability to be among the top batsmen in the competition.”
It shapes as a big couple of weeks for the Pirates as they attempt to qualify for semi-finals in the Twenty20 and two-day competition.
They host a T20 round against Casino and Tintenbar-East Ballina at Megan Crescent Oval this weekend.
A win in either game should put them in the T20 semi-finals while they still have plenty of work ahead of them before the two-day finals.
They were undefeated on their way to the finals this time last season but are currently struggling in seventh spot.
Captain Andrew Lindsay moved on this season while former captain Mark Denmeade has returned in recent weeks.
“Andy is a big loss but apart from that we haven’t changed much,” Fisher said.
“If we can put it all together on the day we’ve probably got the best team in the competition.
“We’re still a bit inexperienced and having someone like Mark come back has really helped.
“He has that extra grit and he’ll dig in to get the job done, you need guys like that.”
In other games this weekend, Marist Brothers play Alstonville and Lismore Workers in its T20 round at Mortimer Oval, Lismore.
Elsewhere, Cudgen plays Murwillumbah and Pottsville in a battle of the Tweed teams at Reg Dalton Oval, Kingscliff.
The two-day competition resumes next weekend with the T20 finals scheduled for February 2.