Sam steers Casino Cavaliers home
CASINO Cavaliers captain Sam Irvine believes disciplined bowling edged his team over the line against Alstonville in Far North Coast LJ Hooker League cricket.
But it may have also had a bit to do with Irvine's great form with the bat.
The former NSW Country rep-resentative saw his team home with an innings of 82 not out as the Cavaliers (8-178) defeated Alstonville (9-177 cc) at Hill Park Oval, Wollongbar, in the round of one-dayers on Saturday.
He had top-scored with 61 in the Cavs' opening round loss to Tintenbar-East Ballina.
Despite missing experienced bowlers Al Nowlan and Mark Mison, who are injured, the Cavaliers hit back from the disappointment of the previous week.
"We had one ball to spare and scored the winning run off the second last ball," Irvine said ofthe exciting win over Alstonville.
"It's was a good game - a great game, actually - and I think we bowled and fielded very well, a lot better than against Tintenbar.
"We just sort of kept chipping away until we got there."
Irvine said he expected former captain Nowlan to return this Saturday but Mison may miss a few more games.
"Mark will probably be gone for three or four weeks," Irvine said.
"He has a spiral fracture of his finger.
"It'll be good to have them back - between them they've taken over 1000 Hooker League wickets.
"I think we'll have one of the strongest bowling line-ups in the comp and it'll be great to have some competition within our playing squad."
In their absence, pace spearhead Wade Sweeney took 3-24, while opener Mitchell Wilson top-scored for Alstonville with 54.
Casino will square off against Marist Brothers in the next round.
Irvine was unsure how that match would play out, noting the competition was quite even this season.
"I think this is the first year in 13 that any one of the teams can go through to the final," he said.
"There's no easy games.
"It'll be extremely tight between the eight teams as the season comes towards an end.
"It makes every game really important and I'll be very disappointed if we don't make the semis.
"It's a toss of the coin, you know, but I think the Brothers game will just come right down to bowling."
In other games:
Luke Hamilton followed up his century on the opening day by top-scoring with 71 as Tintenbar-East Ballina (7-167) defeated Marist Brothers (9-166 cc) at Kingsford Smith Park, Ballina.
Former Sydney first-grade all-rounder Andrew Lindsay made 93 not out for Lennox Head (7-234 cc) in the Pirates' win over defending premiers Ballina Bears (201) at Megan Crescent Oval, Lennox Head.
Pottsville (8-195) took the points against perennial semi-finalists Cudgen (150) at Seabreeze Oval, Pottsville.
HOOKER LEAGUE - NEXT ROUND
Casino Cavaliers v Marist Brothers at Queen Elizabeth Park, Casino
Cudgen v Tintenbar-East Ballina at Reg Dalton Oval, Kingscliff
Pottsville v Lennox Head at Seabreeze Oval, Pottsville
Ballina Bears v Alstonville at Fripp Oval, Ballina