Pirates reach decider after a nervous start
LENNOX Head pulled off a narrow escape with an 18-run win over Pottsville in its Far North Coast LJ Hooker League cricket two-day semi-final at Megan Crescent Oval.
The Pirates will now host the final this weekend and have the chance to win their first premiership in the top grade on top of an undefeated season.
It looked a long way off before the lunch break on Saturday when they were struggling at 6-83 after Pottsville ripped through their top order.
Teenager Ben Moyle led a resurgence in the middle order as the Pirates reached a competitive total of 231 before they were bowled out.
Pottsville was in the driver's seat on 2-100 at stumps on Saturday.
"We probably had our worst day of the season on Saturday,” Lennox Head captain Andrew Lindsay said.
"People were asking me last night how we were looking and I said we weren't dead yet and that we were definitely still a chance,” Lindsay said.
"We've put ourselves in these positions all year but we're undefeated and we kept plugging away to get the result.”
Lennox Head's strength has been their bowling and there was a steady flow of wickets in the first session yesterday.
Top-order batsman Tait Burns loomed as the key wicket and the momentum swung when he was dismissed for 57 with Pottsville 4-129.
They went to lunch at 8-188 but still had experienced all-rounder Ryan McCloy to come in a final wicket stand with batsman Jamie Tripp.
Tripp finished 43 not out while a dejected McCloy was certain he did not hit the ball when he was dismissed on 11 and the home side celebrations began.
Veteran fast bowler Terry Murphy toiled hard for Lennox Head, getting through plenty of overs and finishing with four wickets.
"I thought about taking him (Murphy) off a couple of times just to change things up a bit,” Lindsay said.
"But his rhythm was good and he did an amazing job bowling close to about 20 overs straight, he really deserved those wickets.”
In the other game, defending premier Cudgen piled on the runs when it was sent into bat in its semi-final win over the Casino RSM Cavaliers at Queen Elizabeth Park, Casino.
Top order batsman Alec Williams scored 114 while opening batsmen Caleb Ziebell (94) and Pat Rosser (55) also dominated on Saturday.
All-rounder Connor Ziebell chipped in with a quick-fire 44 before Cudgen declared at 8-403.
Casino needed to bat out its innings yesterday to advance to the final but was bowled out late in the day for 189.
Teenager Tim Martin capped his best season in the top grade with a gritty 70.
NSW Country rep Caleb Ziebell finished with four wickets for Cudgen and will be the key man in the final against Lennox Head.
CASINO RSM CAVALIERS v CUDGEN
(at Queen Elizabeth Park, Casino)
Casino won the toss
CUDGEN 1st innings
Caleb Ziebell, c McCabe b M Mison94
P Rosser, b Carlton55
A Williams, c Bradshaw b M Mison114
C McDowell, c Nowlan b M Mison29
D Stoddart, b Ensby25
J Wilson, run out15
Connor Ziebell, c Dietrich b M Mison44
H Gray, c Nowlan b Ensby0
T Spencer, not out9
Fall 113 218 303 311 344 352 357 403
Bowling: M Mison 25.3-4-122-4, R Mison 8-1-48-0, T Carlton 11-3-68-1, A Nowlan 18-4-74-0, N Ensby 10-0-65-2, M Bradshaw 1-0-9-0, T Bennett 1-0-8-0
CASINO 1st innings
S Dietrich, c Weir b Connor Ziebell9
C Mitchell, b Julius15
A Shields, c Gray b Spencer18
T Martin, c Gray b Julius70
L McCabe, c Gray b Caleb Ziebell12
T Bennett, c and b Julius16
M Bradshaw, b Kershler1
R Mison, b Caleb Ziebell12
N Ensby, c Gray b Connor Ziebell4
T Carlton, b Caleb Ziebell0
A Nowlan, not out1
Fall 26 28 71 11 167 168 176 182 188 189
Bowling: J Julius 20-8-31-3, Connor Ziebell 15-4-37-2, Caleb Ziebell 11.2-24-4, T Spencer 7-2-11-1, J Weir 8-2-29-0, A Kershler 13-8-11-1, A Williams 2-0-17-0, C McDowell 1-0-6-0
LENNOX HEAD v POTTSVILLE
(at Megan Crescent Oval, Lennox Head)
Pottsville won the toss
LENNOX HEAD 1st innings
A Callan, c Wirth b McCloy29
A Lindsay, c Bennett b Wirth8
Tobyn Burvill, c Bone b Burns18
T Fisher, c Bone b Burns13
B Moyle, lbw Hoare61
A Fisher, lbw Bennett1
J Lofts, b McCloy1
C Maladay, st Rogers b Thoms13
O Cronin, c- b McCloy61
Tranin Burvill, c- b McCloy41
T Murphy, c- b Mcloy7
Fall 19 52 65 80 82 83 99 180 219
Bowling: R McCloy 13.4-1-47-4, B Wirth 9-0-41-1, J Bennett 12-5-24-1, T Burns 12-3-47-2, D Thoms 6-1-31-1, S Syed 5-0-18-0, J Hoare 1-0-13-1
J Hoare, c Murphy b Cronin21
J Bennett, c Tobyn Burvill b Cronin13
T Burns, c Tranin Burvill b Murphy57
A Laycock, b Maladay24
J Tripp, not out43
S Syed, run out2
A Rogers, c Moyle b T Fisher14
J Allan, c Tobyn Burvill b Murphy1
O Bone, c Fisher b T Murphy4
B Wirth, lbw Cronin4
R McCloy, c Lindsay b Murphy11
Fall 34 66 112 129 132 157 159 175 188 213
Bowling: C Maladay 13-1-58-1, O Cronin 16-2-55-3, J Lyon, 4-0-16-0, T Murphy 18-1-64-4, T Fisher, 5-1-10-1
Lennox Head won