Sawtell in the box seat
By MITCHELL DALE
THE Sawtell Freeway, otherwise known as the Richardson Park wicket, produced its usual abundance of runs at the weekend, with Sawtell clubbing 6-272 against Diggers Ex-Services.
On most Coffs Harbour wickets, a total of 272 would have captains calling for the champagne, but Sawtell will be keeping it on ice for a week.
They know better after losing when defending 343 at Richardson Park earlier this season.
Sawtell skipper Todd Gill said 272 should make his side very confident, but admitted taking 10 wickets at Richardson Park would be no easy task.
"That (defending 272 at Richardson) is a bit easier said than done," he said.
"But I was fairly pleased with that score.
"Diggers bowled very well early, but then the chat stopped and I think they got over being in the sun.
"We should go into next weekend very confident, Diggers have a good batting line-up but they haven't scored a lot of runs this season so hopefully that continues."
With opener Kel McMillan (87) and Jason Hughes (63) in control, Diggers captain Steve Meakins was readying himself for a plus-300 chase next week.
As a result, he was by no means distraught at the prospect of trying to pass 273.
"I think at one stage they (Sawtell) would have been looking at a score of around 350 when Kel and Jason were in," Meakins said.
"That (273) is definitely gettable, even though our history (with the bat) this year has not been too good.
"We just need a good start with the bat.
"We need to look at Sawtell's innings and do the same thing, the middle order should not bat before tea."
Troy Herbert was the pick of the Diggers bowlers, snaring 4-93 from 22 overs, while former NSW squad member Brad Guthrie was at his miserly best, picking up 1-40 from 20 overs.