Andrew Larresey lets loose while batting for Alstonville against Ballina Bears at Hill Park Oval, Wollongbar, last Saturday. Larresey top-scored with 17. Alstonville is facing first-innings defeat, with Bears 4-50 in reply to the home team’s total of 85.
Andrew Larresey lets loose while batting for Alstonville against Ballina Bears at Hill Park Oval, Wollongbar, last Saturday. Larresey top-scored with 17. Alstonville is facing first-innings defeat, with Bears 4-50 in reply to the home team’s total of 85. JAY CRONAN

Vital games in push for semis

THE outcome of games today could play a pivotal role in the Far North Coast LJ Hooker League cricket semi-finals make-up.

The last few weeks have sprung some surprising results and with many of the games in this round undecided, an upset might end a team’s season.

With only two rounds remaining in the season, up to nine teams are still in contention to qualify for the semi-finals on March 20-21.

Casino Cavaliers (which in the last two rounds will face Tintenbar East-Ballina and Ballina Bears) will resume at home at 1-14 off seven overs against Cudgen (still to play Ballina, Souths).

A rain-affected draw would still assist the finals aspirations of both sides, but a win could possibly decide the minor premiership. Both teams are entrenched in the top three with Bears, who face a tough end-of-season draw (Cudgen, Casino).

Bears are 4-50 chasing Alstonville’s 85 and are hoping a repeat of their one-day semi-final loss last Sunday does not eventuate.

Alstonville (still to play Souths, South Tweed) will see the 35 runs as defendable and need to win to stay in the finals race.

Marist Brothers (Murwillumbah, Lismore Workers) occupy fourth position and arguably have the easiest run into the semis.

They are in a difficult position against South Tweed Colts at 3-84, having used 37 of their allocated 85 overs. But a draw should be enough for them to retain their position.

South Tweed Colts (still to play Pottsville, Alstonville) trail Brothers by nine points and will sense an upset – with a possible outright win next over Pottsvillein the back of their minds.

Souths (still to play Alstonville, Cudgen) have already captured first innings points against Pottsville (South Tweed Colts, Murwillumbah), and are on the verge of an outright.

Leading by 100 runs, Souths should surge up the table, putting extra pressure on Brothers.

With play washed out last Sat-urday, Tintenbar-East Ballina (still to play Casino, Lennox Head) will take on Terranora Lakes (Lennox Head, Brunswick-Byron) in a one-day match.

Both teams must keep winning to stay in finals contention.

In the other one-dayer, Lennox Head (Terranora Lakes, Tintenbar) will face Lismore Workers (Brunswick-Byron, Marist Brothers) at Megan Crescent with both already out of contention.

Wrapping up the round, Brunswick-Byron (still to play Workers, Terranora) will be looking for their third win of the season when they resume at 2-76 chasing 119 against Murwillumbah(Marist Brothers, Pottsville).



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