Tigers turn into pussycats
By GREG WHITE
PREMIERS Sawtell remain unbeaten after winning their third straight match over grand final opponents Coffs Hotel Tigers at Richardson Park on Saturday. The effortless 102 run victory left Sawtell captain Todd Gill all but lost for words. "Too right I'm shocked they surrendered so meekly," Gill said. "I could hardly believe it when they began to crumble. "Some of the shots were astonishing and the run out was just unbelievable." Tigers captain-coach Brad Greenshields could offer no excuses. "We got well and truly smashed," was his direct assessment. "Losing 5-16 in the middle order meant we were never a chance." After winning the toss and batting, Sawtell posted 7-230. At that stage, Greenshields claimed he had no worries. "I told the boys we could pass them if we restricted the scoring to 240 or less." Gill considered changing his batting but once he saw the wicket was perfect, he stuck with the established lineup. Openers McMillan and Bailey made good starts before Gill, Davis and Neal entered the picture and proceeded to blast away the attack. "The aim was to build the pressure and give them something to think about if things went wrong early or if rain began to threaten," Gill said. Things did go wrong early for the Tigers. Gourley went second ball of the second over without scoring. Parmenter joined Matt Secomb and for an over or two, looked likely to turn the ship around. But with Secomb's removal and the rot infesting the middle order, it became a dismal day for the team batting in reply. "After the game I had no option but to lock them in the room and deliver some home truths," Greenshields said. "Too many blokes are turning up for an afternoon in the sun with their minds on everything but the game." There seems to be some hangover from the grand final, according to Greenshields. "They've remembered making the grand final but forgotten how much hard work was done to reach it and unless the attitude changes, we'll sink to the bottom of the competition and stay there." Gill is thrilled with Sawtell's outstanding start to the season but in an ominous warning to his rival skippers, says there's much more to expect from his team. "A couple of blokes still are coming back," he announced. "We still are short of full strength. "When we get to where we want to be, look out."