Skippers give final hopes thumbs up
CAPTAINS Toby Hordern and Terry Wilson are confident the LJ Hooker League semi-finals will be played this weekend.
The Ballina Bears are set to take on Tintenbar-East Ballina at Fripp Oval, Ballina, and Cudgen will host Byron Bay at Reg Dalton Oval, Kingscliff.
The second half of the season has been hampered by persistent rain and ground closures but the forecast is for mostly fine weather to continue this weekend.
"So far it's looking good, hopefully the weather stays fine," Ballina captain Toby Hordern said.
"It's been five weeks since we've played on it (Fripp Oval).
"The square is fine; it's only the outfield that's been boggy.
"We've given the field a decent mow and the pitch is looking good."
Cudgen skipper Terry Wilson believes his team are certainties to get on for the semi-final clash that will be played over two days on Saturday and Sunday.
"It (Reg Dalton Oval) is a sand-based field and dries out well," Wilson said.
"Our second grade played on it last weekend and scored about 230 runs.
"The field is always looked after by the council and I have no doubts that we'll get on."
If the games are washed out this weekend Cudgen and Bears will advance to the final.
Both captains agree it would be better to get through on their own merits.
"We don't want another week without cricket, we need to get on," Wilson said.
Casino Cavaliers and Bears were named joint premiers last year when the wicket at Fripp Oval was deemed too wet to play the final on.
Meanwhile, Ballina are out to claim bragging rights in the local derby against Tintenbar-East Ballina this weekend.
Bears have already beaten them once this season.
"You want to play the best sides in the competition and this is something to look forward to," Hordern said.
"There has already been a bit of banter around town and everyone wants to get out there."