Lawrence puts rivals in a spin
By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
AN INSPIRED spell of bowling from leg-spinner Mickey Lawrence on Tuesday has propelled Coffs Harbour into the quarter-finals of the SCG Country Cup at Dubbo.
Chasing a modest 204, Lake Illawarra were looking comfortable at 3-90 before Lawrence ripped through the opposition middle order with his usual restrictive accuracy.
He finished with the impressive figures of 5-18 off eight tight overs and now Coffs Harbour are drawn to play Wallsend after rolling the Wollongong team for 142.
"Mickey was very good, bowling nice tight lines," skipper Todd Gill said in praise of the match winner.
"I was a bit worried just before he came on as I wasn't sure a spinner was the right option but it turned out to be."
Earlier it seemed Coffs Harbour would pay dearly for breaking the cardinal sin of one-day cricket ? failing to bat out their 50 overs.
Dismissed after only 45 overs, the team failed to capitalise on the promising start made by openers Jordan Moran (46) and Hugh Campbell (17).
Gill made a blistering 41, which included three sixes in one over, but a steady stream of wickets saw Coffs Harbour make what looked like only a smallish score despite the slow outfield.
It was in the field though that the representative team showed their true ability.
Opening bowlers Brad Guthrie and Peter Bayley used their Sydney grade experience to the fullest to be at their miserly best.
Between them the pair bowled 16 overs and conceded only 31 runs.
When the final wicket was taken all the players were wound up in celebrations for their achievement.
"The boys were over the moon actually," the captain said.
"We'd gelled together well as a team before this but now the group is even closer."
nYesterday, captain Todd Gill won the toss and invited Wallsend to bat first at Lady Cutler Oval, Dubbo.
After a worrying quickfire start, Gill's decision seemed to pay off.
Wallsend's innings ended on 160 with Guthrie again coming to the fore, taking 4-26 while Diggers Ex-Services teammate Joe Mennie bowled well for his 3-31. In reply, Coffs Harbour were 3-57 after 19 overs.
For a full match report, see the sport section of Friday's Coffs Coast Advocate.