Top batsman down, not out
MARIST Brothers top-order batsman Sam Martin will miss at least half the Far North Coast LJ Hooker League cricket season after breaking his arm playing baseball.
Martin is a big loss and was the top run-scorer in the team last summer with 765 runs, while opening batsman Lachlan Barnsley finished the season with 563 runs.
Barnsley will return to the crease on 31 not out when Brothers complete their two-day game against the Casino RSM Cavaliers at Neilson Park, Lismore, today.
The Cavaliers declared 9-202, with Brothers currently 1-44 in reply.
It looks set to be another big year for Barnsley who has already been selected to play representative cricket with the Northern Rivers Rock Twenty20 team.
"Lachlan is looking good again and I wouldn't be surprised to see him score over 500 runs again,” Brothers captain Brad Cleaver said.
"He comes to training with a positive attitude and just loves his cricket.
"Sam is obviously a big loss but he will be back and hopefully some other players will step up while he's out.
"We've got a few old heads with Joe Allan and Pat Martin coming back into the team for the first time in a few years.”
Brothers have also lost talented teenager Jack Cooper to the Gold Coast but have retained most of their bowling attack.
Opening bowler Brendan Mitchell started the season with a four-wicket haul while all-rounders Kaleb Auld and Jared Seiffert will be solid contributors.
"Our bowling looks pretty solid with Brendan leading the way and Kaleb will keep improving,” Cleaver said.
"It's our 100th year and we have good numbers down the grades so it would be a good time to win the competition.”
In other games, Tintenbar-East Ballina have a big run chase ahead of them after Cudgen finished 9-288 at Kingsford Smith Park, Ballina.
Elsewhere, Ballina Bears will have their sights set on an outright win with Murwillumbah 3-20 after Bears declared 5-312 at Rabjones Oval, Murwillumbah.
And new recruit Tait Burns will get the chance to bat for Pottsville when they play Lennox Head at Seabreeze Oval, Pottsville.
Burns has moved to Pottsville from Cudgen for an opportunity to bowl and finished with figures of 1-23 from 13 overs.
Lennox are 9-198 after they were called in early due to bad light.