Scoring runs rarely a problem for the 'Bar
SCORING runs at the top of the order has rarely been a problem for Tintenbar-East Ballina in Far North Coast LJ Hooker League cricket.
Captain Nathan Hoey and opening batsman Abe Crawford have already scored centuries this season while all-rounder Luke Hamilton has brought up two tons.
The return of experienced all-rounder Brett Crawford adds further depth to their batting line-up and will be crucial in the two-day games coming up.
Crawford, 40, played his first game of the season in the top grade last week and scored a crucial 72 in a win over Marist Brothers.
The 'Bar will take on Pottsville in a one-day game at Seabreeze Oval, Pottsville, today before a two-dayer against Ballina Bears at Fripp Oval, Ballina, next weekend.
"He (Brett Crawford) has been enjoying playing in the same team as his son in second grade but I'm trying to get him back for good,” Hoey said.
"Brett is still one of the most competitive players getting around and we would all love to have him there.
"We're really solid at the top with Abe, Luke and Callum Carmont but we get even stronger with Brett there.
"He would be the oldest in the team by about 16 years but what he brings is invaluable.”
Hoey is only 23 and considers himself an old boy, having already captained the young team for three seasons.
The addition of Crawford also gives Hoey another bowling option with the side looking to improve its attack ahead of the two-day games.
"We've been using a lot of medium-pacers and it's hard for them to get a decent rhythm in the one-dayers,” Hoey said.
"Ben Frost has been bowling really well. He's not the most technical bowler but he gets the job done.
"Again, if I could get Brett in there to tie up one end it would really help the rest of the bowlers.
"Abe and Luke are always pressuring me for a bowl, and it's good to keep them involved in the game too.
"We have a couple of crucial games coming up and no one wants to go into the Christmas break with a couple of losses.”
In other games today:
- Alstonville takes on Lennox Head at Hill Park Oval, Wollongbar.
- The Casino Cavaliers host Marist Brothers at Queen Elizabeth Park, Casino.
- Ballina Bears play competition leaders Cudgen at Fripp Oval, Ballina.
North Coast misses out
NO North Coast players were selected in the NSW Country team this week.
The Australian Country Cricket Championships will be held in Wollongong from Janauary 3-11.
North Coast lost to Newcastle and Central Coast before its final game against Central North was washed out in the NSW Country Championships at Narrabri last month.
Cudgen all-rounder Caleb Ziebell put himself in the selection frame with a determined 67 when he opened the batting against Central Coast while the rest of the side struggled.
Lennox Head all-rounder Andrew Lindsay and Ballina captain Justin Moore played in the NSW Country team the previous two seasons.
Lindsay has missed games with a shoulder injury this season while Moore is overseas and will also miss the Cricket NSW Regional Bash Twenty20 finals at the SCG next Sunday.
Northern Rivers will be captained by former NSW spin bowler Anthony Kershler when they play Newcastle with the game streamed on www.cricketnsw.com.au starting at 2pm.