By GREG WHITE
FROM the hundreds of deliveries Coffs Hotel Tigers served up on Saturday, only two really counted in the final wash-up.
Both were fired at Sawtell captain, Todd Gill.
On the first ball of his dig, Gill was dropped at mid wicket before going on to make a 103 in the total of 8 for 325.
Late in the day, Gill was caught, only to survive when the umpire ruled 'no ball'.
"Those two incidents made all the difference," Tigers stand in captain Darren Funston said in dismay.
"Nobody can afford to slip up against the best attacking batsman in the comp, but we did it twice.
"The bowlers toiled hard, Mickey Lawrence in particular, but when you get as sloppy in the field as we were, you get belted around the park."
Sawtell batsman Matt Bailey admitted the competition leaders had found run ? making difficult before the tea break.
"The grass was long in the outfield and we only managed two boundaries," he said.
"At three for 35, Gilly arrived and the fireworks started."
It wasn't all the Todd Gill Show.
"Ben Davis batted superbly," Bailey said.
"He managed to turn the stroke around and claimed a half century.
"Alex Pearson did the same and finished on 48."
With the Tigers still to bat, Funston and his team mates face a nervous seven days to contemplate their reply.
"It's a huge ask but don't scrub us yet," he said.
"Last year we had a similar target and shocked the experts when we scored them.
"The plan is to stay at the crease, make no mistakes and keep whacking away."