Bears hold premiership form for cricket season opener
DEFENDING premiers Ballina Bears returned to their finals form in the first round of Far North Coast LJ Hooker League cricket.
The team defeated Cudgen at Fripp Oval, Ballina, in a round of one-dayers on Saturday alongside wins by Alstonville, Marist Brothers and Tintenbar-East Ballina.
Luke Hamilton scored 102 not out in Tintenbar's successful run chase to defeat the Casino Cavaliers at Kingsford Smith Park, Ballina.
Bears captain Justin Moore was pleased with his team's effort considering it had lost several experienced players coming into the season.
"We lost a few but so did Cudgen, so that evened things out," Moore said.
"Early on we lost four quick wickets but we had a good partnership going with Nathanael Scott and Lee Barnett.
"We got to 188, which was a relatively good target on the ground, and we ended up bowling them out."
Moore said "our goal is to always play like it's finals", noting he was a bit disappointed by the Bears batsmen.
"We really need our top-order bats-men to score a few more runs," he said.
"It was a pretty tight game, quite competitive and I think Cudgen will be there around finals time.
"It was quite pleasing to do so well so early, especially because we've just been training in the nets up until now."
Next Saturday Ballina Bears will take on Lennox Head at Megan Crescent, Lennox Head, in a rematch of the final last season.
Moore expects a tough and possibly aggressive encounter.
"Obviously last time we played it was pretty fiery," he said.
"It'll be a real good competitive game. I'm looking forward to it."
In other games on Saturday, Alstonville will take on the Casino Cavaliers, Tintenbar-East Ballina face Marist Brothers, and Pottsville clash with Cudgen.