Sam’s the man as Ballina takes first state title victory
That was the verdict of Sam Adams after helping his Ballina side claim state cricket success.
Man-of-the-match Adams made 74 as the seasiders sealed a first Country Shield with a dominant 52-run over host Cowra in yesterday's final.
Adams said the fine win had underlined captain Steve Robb's confidence in his team.
"Steve said right from ball one of this competition that we could win this," he said. "It's an outstanding effort."
Ballina booked its place in the final with Sunday's semi-final victory over Robertson Burrawang, but faced an uphill battle against the home side.
A solid batting effort helped Ballina reach 7/241 from its allotted 50 overs, with useful knocks from Nathanael Scott (39) and Tobyn Burvill (27).
Jeremy Thorpe made an unbeaten 41, but Adams took the top honours with his storming innings.
"I thought anything above 200 plus would be tough to chase down," Adams said.
"It was a slow outfield and a questionable deck, so I think we had more than enough runs as long as we kept our heads."
The hosts initially kept up with the required run rate but eventually slipped off the pace.
Lee Pittavino finished with 3-53 as Cowra was dismissed for 189 in the final over.
Captain Robb took 2-21 from his 10 overs and Thorpe captured 2-24 off his nine.
"I think the balance throughout our team was great," Adams said. "We have players who can play the shots and we can bat all the way down.
"I'm sure we'll sink a few beers to celebrate."
Teams from across New South Wales entered the tournament, which is the second tier of state competition.