Diggers by seven
A THIRD wicket stand of 69 between captain Steve Meakins and Pat Martin gave Diggers Ex-Services enough momentum to survive a thrilling but futile run chase from Coffs Hotel Tigers in Saturday's one day match at Brelsford Park. Sent in by rival captain Brad Greenshields, Diggers stumbled with the run out of makeshift opener Troy Herbert before ultimately going on to finish at 9-187. "We kept our heads in the circumstances," Meakins said, after he and Martin had cracked half centuries. "It was important to keep our heads down and keep grinding away. "All I could think about was batting out the full 40 overs which we accomplished." Meakins had contemplated elevating himself to open but instead had gone with Herbert. "There's no regret," he said. "He was unlucky to be dismissed following a mix up and in the long term, we rallied." Chasing 188 to win, Tigers hit a snag when Greenshields was removed third ball of the innings, the captain's only blemish after taking 5-28 in the Diggers innings. But again, nobody panicked. Matt Secomb belted a quick 50 and Daryl Parmenter looked headed in the same direction before Scott Herbert dismissed him on 41 with the first ball of his spell. Lower order batsman Jeff Ashworth won an appeal and his survival almost proved fatal for Diggers as he went on to reach 25 before falling to the bowling of batting hero, Pat Martin. Offered an appeal against the light with five overs remaining, Greenshields replied in the negative. "We still gave ourselves half a chance of winning," he said. "There were politics playing a part in my decision. "It was politics that I couldn't be bothered going through again this year." To refresh memories, a similar situation occurred in last year's encounter between the sides when Diggers were certainties to win. In Greenshields' own words: "On that occasion we were accused of running off like startled hares." A storm of accusations and counter claims soured the aftermath but this time, Meakins said there was no such feeling. "The spirit between the teams was much better," he said with relief. Playing a part in Greenshields desire to play on was the opposition bowling. "Scott Herbert came off a four step run up to get through the overs," he commented. "He gave us 15 free runs in an over when he was taken out of the game after continual full toss no balls. "Even though it was getting dark I thought I'd take the chance." In somewhat of a farcical situation with the ground approaching Halloween gloom, Tigers began their final over with ten runs remaining for victory. "We lost our last two wickets in that final over," Greenshields acknowledged. "If you want to know if the fading light played any part in that you will have to ask the batsmen."