Marist Brothers' last stand
MARIST Brothers are through to their first Far North Coast LJ Hooker League cricket final for 13 years after holding on yesterday for a gripping first-innings win over minor premiers Ballina Bears at Fripp Oval, Ballina.
Brothers took a 15-run first innings lead into the second day, but crumbled in their second innings to let the premiers back into the match at 9-73, before a gritty 10th-wicket partnership wrested back control.
Jarred Seiffert joined Steve Prosser at the crease just before the scheduled tea break yesterday with Brothers leading by just 88 runs.
Bears were ready to pounce and press for an outright result.
But the tailend pair saw off a fired-up Bears attack with Prosser standing firm through 77 balls for 15 runs and Seiffert lasting 57 balls on his way to 37.
The anchor in the partnership, Prosser was over the moon to be through to his first Hooker League final.
“I know Jarred likes to be aggressive and score runs but we just needed to survive today,” Prosser said.
“I knew that if I just hung about he would keep knocking some runs up and increasing the lead.”
As the scoreboard shows, the pair lasted more than long enough to put the Bears into panic territory.
They began their second innings needing 140 runs from the 14 overs of play remaining and got to 5-102, but it wasn’t enough.
Andrew Gordon top-scored with 44 and 21 for the Bears in his last innings before moving to Sydney full-time.
Young gun Dain Moreton was again a star with bat and ball for Brothers, top-scoring with 48 and backing it up with 4-28 in the first innings.
Captain Craig Ferguson (4-29) also played his part, cleaning up Bears’ first innings batting effort with three quick wickets with his accurate medium-pacers.
Brothers will look to complete the fairytale next weekend when they travel to play Casino Cavaliers in the final at Queen Elizabeth Park.
Last time Brothers contested a final they won it, but that was way back in 1996-97.