No room for slip-ups

BELLINGEN captain Chris Moran knows his side's stay at the top of the ladder will be over quicker than you can say 'Merry Christmas' if they let their guard down against fifth-placed Tigers at Connell Park today.

Despite a strong start to the season, Tigers currently sit just outside the top four, but will overtake competition-leading Bellingen with a win today.

"We have our noses in front, now we have got to keep going," Moran said.

"We can't afford to slip up.

"Most of our batsmen get going pretty quickly, so the 45-over game will suit us.

"We just need to go out there and bat normally.

"If we do that and bat our overs out, we will have a handy total."

After sitting pretty all summer, Tigers captain-coach Brad Greenshields is desperate for his side to return to the happy end of the ladder before Christmas.

"We would certainly like to re-enter the semi-finals fray," Greenshields said.

"I think we will go a lot better with the bat than in recent weeks.

"Our batsmen have a lot of personal pride to restore and I think that will get us the result."

Greenshields warned his bowling attack can not afford to stray on the batter-friendly Connell Park strip.

"On a hard wicket like Bello, the bowlers need to keep a very tight line and length," he said.

"If they give away any width, it's Good night Irene."

PARK BEACH BOWLING CLUB COLTS v SAWTELL

COLTS and Sawtell will be desperate to avoid back-to-back defeats when the two teams meet at Brelsford Park this weekend.

Both sides suffered surprising last-start losses and could slip out of the top four with another defeat in today's one-day match.

But both captains believe the restricted version will suit their style of play.

"I think scoring quickly is about the only thing we are doing well at the moment," Colts skipper Craig Haworth said.

"We generally score quick, we just don't last that long.

"I think playing a one-dayer might help us."

Haworth says he won't tinker with his side's game plan too much.

"We aren't going to get any of their openers out, so Todd Gill doesn't come in," he joked.

"I don't think we will do too much different."

Sawtell captain Gill said his side needs to pick up in the field or risk falling from the top of the ladder.

"I think the one day game will suit us a bit more, but we still have to do the same sort of things well," Gill said.

"We need to bat and bowl well, but most importantly, our fielding needs to be a hell of a lot better."

DIGGERS EX-SERVICES v NANA GLEN

AFTER two rousing victories, Nana Glen can rightly claim to be one of the form teams of the competition.

But so to can Diggers.

Despite Diggers' lowly position on the ladder, they have struck a purple patch in their last two matches, beating Colts and narrowly falling to then-outright competition leaders Sawtell.

Nana Glen skipper Andrew Mainey knows not to underestimate Diggers in the return match of the Lachlan Dew Memorial Trophy.

"They must be playing some decent cricket to roll Colts," Mainey said.

"They're definitely a team to look out for."

While Nana Glen's bowlers have been on fire recently, the batsmen have been inconsistent at best.

But Mainey warned his batsmen are on the verge of a return to form.

"We've had a couple of big wins and everyone is starting to switch on," he said.

"We have had some very good net sessions and everyone is starting to look alright with the bat.

"I think it is only a matter of time before we start scoring big runs again."

Diggers can end the year one win out of the top four with a victory today.



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