Top teams vie for position
THE final day of the regular season in Far North Coast LJ Hooker League cricket will be played this afternoon, with the semi-finals combatants already decided.
Defending premiers Ballina Bears, along with Cudgen, Casino Cavaliers and Lismore Marist Brothers are the four that will play for the trophy, but their finishing order – and the semi-final match-ups – are yet to be determined.
If Bears can beat the Cavaliers at home they will wrap up the minor premiership and probably force Casino into a countback with Marist Brothers for third spot.
If Casino can upset the front-runners, they give themselves a chance of finishing second and hosting a semi-final.
Two local derbies will be played today, with Lennox Head and Tintenbar-East Ballina to resume after Lennox took a 12-run first innings lead, and Lismore Workers to take on finals-bound Brothers in a one-day match.
Meanwhile, Southern Districts will look to spoil Cudgen’s chance of hosting a semi-final when they lock horns at Nielson Park, East Lismore.
Alstonville will also look to finish on a high with the chance to take 12 points from an outright win for the first time since the first round.
Terry Murphy led an Alstonville recovery to total 124 in tricky conditions against South Tweed Colts last weekend, before running through Colts’ top-order to have them struggling at 8-32.
Murphy returned his best numbers of the year in 4-14 with ball and 32 with the bat.
One intriguing race which remains unfinished is that for leading run-scorer and leading wicket-taker.
Richard Nind has one hand on the run-scorers title after a stellar year for Southern Districts which has produced 402 at an average of 36.5. It would take a good effort on the rain-affected pitches today for any batsman to go past him.
The bowling stocks boast a number of excellent performances with seven men already to 30 scalps.
Casino captain Al Nowlan and Tweed tormenter Jack Boote are neck and neck with 37, but a swag of wickets from Mark Mison could see him go to the front.
Luckily for Nowlan he chooses if and when Mison gets a bowl.
Ballina captain Sam Adams is the front- runner to win Cricketer of the Year as the only man to appear in the top-10 for runs scored and for wickets taken.
Richard Nind (Southern Districts) 402 runs at 36.5. Best 72.
Adam Shields (Casino Cavaliers) 366 runs at 40.7. Best 92.
Tait Burns (South Tweed Colts) 363 runs at 36.3. Best 105.
Sam Adams (Ballina Bears) 346 runs at 34.6. Best 83.
David Thompson (Brunswick-Byron) 342 runs at 26.3. Best 72.
Ben Cooper (Marist Brothers) 338 runs at 37.6. Best 96.
Aaron Jeal (Ballina Bears) 332 runs at 30.2. Best 75.
Rodney Wells (Casino Cavaliers) 326 runs at 36.2. Best 70.
Andrew Gordon (Ballina Bears) 314 runs at 44.9. Best 165.
Craig Ferguson (Marist Brothers) 310 runs at 310. Best 57.
Al Nowlan (Casino Cavaliers) 37 wickets at 9.1. Best 7-36.
Jack Boote (South Tweed Colts) 37 wickets at 12.4. Best 6-48.
Mark Mison (Casino Cavaliers) 33 wickets at 9.1. Best 8-5.
Steve Robb (Alstonville) 31 wickets at 7.6. Best 5-9.
Brett Crawford (Tintenbar) 31 wickets at 13.1. Best 6-46.
James Julius (Cudgen) 30 wickets at 10.5. Best 5-45.
Shane Jacobs (Ballina Bears) 30 wickets at 14.4. Best 7-29.
Sam Adams (Ballina Bears) 29 wickets at 11.6. Best 4-17.
Terry Murphy (Alstonville) 29 wickets at 14.7. Best 4-14.
Paul Milgate (Lennox Head) 28 wickets at 11.0. Best 9-23.
• All figures correct to the start of Round 13.