Hit and runs victory
By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
SOME hard hitting from Pat Martin and Todd Gill highlighted Coffs Harbour's victory in Sunday's representative clash at Grafton.
Chasing Lower Clarence's modest total of only 180, the reigning North Coast champions only needed 29 overs to overhaul the target.
Martin shared in a century third wicket stand with Diggers Ex-Services teammate Joe Mennie (28) while compiling an entertaining 68 himself from only 58 balls, which included 11 boundaries and two sixes.
He was particularly punishing on anything that was short.
But if Martin's innings was full of fireworks, it faded in comparison to the brief but belligerent innings of Gill.
He celebrated his first day of captaining the first grade representative team by belting an undefeated 38 off only 15 balls.
Gill's brief exhibition of power hitting included an amazing 26 runs off the last six deliveries he faced.
The captain admitted that at the start of play he was actually concerned about his team's ability to bat well.
"I thought we'd struggle with the bat seeing no-one had played for a few weeks," he said.
"I was very surprised with how easily we made the runs but I think they just bowled the right line for us to hit them."
The victory was set up earlier in the day with tight bowling from Hugh Campbell, Mennie and Simon Bathgate through the crucial middle overs of the innings. Travelling well enough at three runs an over prior to the first drinks break, Lower Clarence's innings turned pear shaped, losing 4-25 in a damaging 15-over period.
Campbell finished with the impressive figures of 4-34 off his 10 overs while Brad Guthrie made himself the leading wicket taker for this year's representative campaign by cleaning up the tail and claiming another four scalps.
The team's success this summer continues and on top of qualifying for the finals of the SCG Country Cup it has now reached the final of the North Coast Councils competition.