Haworth?s declaration

COUNTRY cricket stalwart Craig Haworth announced his retirement from all representative matches after Coffs Harbour was bundled out of the Country Cup knockout competition by Manning on Sunday.

Coffs Harbour travelled to Taree for the round-three clash full of confidence, but endured what Haworth described as 'one of those irritating days of cricket' in to a three-wicket defeat.

Haworth, a three-time Australian Country representative, has been plagued by a chronic knee injury for a number of years and knew the end was looming

"I have known for a while that I was going to do it, I basically decided that I would go until Coffs Harbour finished in the Country Cup," Haworth said.

"I've had a gutful, I can't do it anymore.

"My knee's no good, I can't keep going playing rep and Saturday cricket.

"It's time someone else had a go."

Haworth's departure leaves a huge gap in the Coffs Harbour side, which now needs a new top-order batsman and captain.

With three club captains ? Todd Gill, Andrew Mainey and Brad Greenshields ? all playing in the Coffs Harbour side, the decision on a replacement at the helm will be a difficult one.

"I don't really know who will replace me (as captain)," he said.

The match was hardly an ideal one for Haworth to end his career.

In stifling conditions, Coffs Harbour batted first and set the home side a modest target of 217.

Gill (90) and Mainey (55) were the standouts, but apart from their contributions there was little to cheer about for the visitors.

Manning reached the target with three wickets in hand in the 48th over to progress to the final 16 play-offs in Dubbo.

The home side was under the pump at 6-112 in the 27th over after West Coffs leg-spinner Micky Lawrence (3-33 off ten overs) and Mainey (3-42 of nine) tore apart the top or- der.

"We were in control for a while and fought all the way to the end," Haworth said.

"We certainly could have done with a bit of luck.

"A lot of balls went over our heads or just wide, it was one of those irritating days of cricket."

Coffs Harbour president Ken Robinson yesterday paid tribute to Haworth, saying he would be sorely missed, not only for his undeniable batting skill, but for his cricket brain.

"I think we will miss his on-field leadership more than anything, not too many captains think about cricket the way he does," Robinson said.

"He has obviously achieved a lot at representative level, having the honour of being the first Australian Country captain to defeat a touring International side.

"Hopefully he will stay around for a while."

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