LEFT: Tintenbar-East Ballina bowler Steve Leahy in action in a game against Marist Brothers at Oakes Oval.
LEFT: Tintenbar-East Ballina bowler Steve Leahy in action in a game against Marist Brothers at Oakes Oval. Marc Stapelberg

We need wickets in Hooker League final

TINTENBAR-East Ballina will pin its hopes on opening bowler Steve Leahy in the Far North Coast LJ Hooker League cricket one-day final against Cudgen tomorrow.

The 'Bar has plenty of ability with the bat but will need its bowlers to step up against a Cudgen side aiming for three straight at Reg Dalton Oval, Kingscliff.

"Steve will open the bowling and he gives everything he has,” captain Nathan Hoey said. "He has slotted into our team nicely over the past couple years and he's probably been unlucky not to get a few more wickets.

"We use plenty of bowlers, and we'll chop and change a bit to see what works for us.

"We also have Luke Hamilton who can cause a bit of damage with his off- spinners.

"Out of everyone I'd say they're the two that could get a few wickets for us.”

Cudgen cruised to a nine-wicket win over Tintenbar when they last met in a one-dayer in November.

Top-order batsmen Tait Burns and Caleb Ziebell were both unbeaten on 69 and haven't dipped in form since.

Hoey is optimistic of his chances with the likes of Abe Crawford and Brett Crawford (no relation) in his batting line-up.

"The bottom six for Cudgen haven't had to bat all year because the guys at the top usually get it done,” he said.

"But there is no real pressure on us and we're not going up there to lose either.

"Anything can happen if we get a few early wickets and we have guys who can win the game for us with the bat.

"Brett always looks forward to the big games and our young guys are keen to play in a final too.

"We'll need to be up for it but we won't be walking off with any excuses.”

The game starts at 11am.

Meanwhile, the 'Bar will get a chance to take some momentum into the one-day final when they play Lennox Head at Kingsford Smith Park, Ballina, today in a game reduced to a one-dayer. Play was washed out last weekend.

The rest of the two-day round will be completed this afternoon.

Ziebell has a chance to make it a memorable weekend when he returns to the crease for Cudgen at 72 not out against Pottsville at Reg Dalton Oval.

Cudgen are 3-149, having already claimed first innings points after bowling out Pottsville for 107.

Elsewhere, Ballina Bears have some work ahead, resuming at 2-18 chasing 185 against the Casino Cavaliers at Queen Elizabeth Park, Casino.

And Marist Brothers are 0-32 in their second innings, a lead of 28 runs, against Alstonville at Hill Park Oval, Wollongbar, after already conceding first innings points.



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