Sam's toughing it out
CASINO Cavaliers captain Sam Irvine rates his most recent century as one of the toughest innings he has played in FNC LJ Hooker League cricket.
It's a big call considering his most memorable knock was an unbeaten 215 in a winning final against Ballina Bears in 2007-08.
He has also represented at NSW Country level and scored almost 4000 runs during his time in the top grade. Irvine scored 124 against Lennox Head at Queen Elizabeth Park, Casino, in the first round of two-day games.
The Cavaliers are at the bottom of the ladder in a rebuilding season but will get plenty of confidence after scoring 270 at the weekend.
"It is probably the most I've had to concentrate during an innings," Irvine said.
"I've probably been a bit too defensive in the one-dayers so I was pretty determined to do well.
"I was a bit more aggressive and I was able to build a really good partnership with Trent Bennett in the middle order."
Irvine had one of his best seasons last summer, scoring 787 runs.
He is captain at Casino for the second season and will be the key for them to win games in the two-day format.
"I've been playing here for a long time now and I've taken a fair bit of responsibility," Irvine said.
"Hopefully this is a bit of a turning point and everyone will see that we don't plan to lay down for the rest of the season.
"We definitely plan to make the trip to Casino a tough one for the rest of the competition."
The captains have led by example this season with Marist Brothers' Brad Cleaver and Lennox Head's Andrew Lindsay scoring hundreds
Tait Burns, Abe Crawford, Sam Lucas and Alec Williams have also cracked centuries.
Meanwhile, the bowlers are starting to get in on the act with Alstonville all-rounder Jason Caught taking six wickets while Sam Adams took five wickets for Bears in a one-dayer recently.
Adams had the impressive figures of 5-4 in eight overs.
John Ainsworth took a hat-trick when Pottsville beat Casino, while Marist Brothers spearhead Brendan Mitchell finished with 5-12 against Alstonville.