PLANTATION Diggers have set a formidable target for Sawtell to chase down tomorrow in the Coffs Harbour District Cricket Association grand final.

Led by captain and opening batsman Alex Byrne, Diggers were dismissed for 234 shortly before stumps on the opening day.

Byrne made 89 to set a platform for a large total as he shared half-century stands with teenaged opener Ty Adams and veteran batsman Gus Garland.

In fact when the Diggers total had reached 1-120, the imagined final total in the pavillion would've been much more than 234. Especially when the fact the pitch at Coffs Coast Sport andLeisure Park was extremely good for batting is taken into account.

It was Tim Welsford who helped drag Sawtell back into the contest when he claimed the scalps of Garland, Damon Rootes, Byrne and Steve Meakins to bring the reigning premier back to 5-153.

It was a patient unbeaten 55 from Raman Phoonie and a late order contribution by Jamie Arthur that pushed Diggers to its strong position.

Sawtell had to face one over before stumps which Dan Maguire survived.

Plantation Diggers 1st innings

      Runs Balls
A BYRNE   c & b T Welsford 89 131
T ADAMS c B Lewis b R Gallichan 9 42
A GARLAND   b T Welsford 27 72
D ROOTES   b T Welsford 0 2
R PHOONIE not out   55 123
S MEAKINS   b T Welsford 7 10
E ATKINSON   b B Lewis 0 12
G KESBY lbw b R Gallichan 8 10
J ARTHUR c T Murphy b D Maguire 20 39
D DIXON   b B Lewis 1 12
J HULBERT c T Murphy b D Maguire 3 4
Sundries: (1nb, 5w, 4b, 5lb)    15  
Total: (76 overs All out for 234  

Fall: 55 (Adams), 120 (Garland), 120 (Rootes), 139 (Byrne), 153 (Meakins), 166 (Atkinson), 182 (Kesby), 219 (Arthur), 229 (Dixon), 234 (Hulbert).

Bowling: T Welsford 23-3-81-4, D Maguire 7-1-23-2, B Lewis 18-4-46-2, R Gallichan 21-3-66-2, T Dierick 7-2-9-0.

Sawtell 1st innings

      Runs Balls
D MAGUIRE not out   0 7
R WELSH   not out 0 0
Sundries: (1nb)   1  
Total: (1 over) 0 wkt for 1  

 Bowling: J Hulbert 1-0-1-0.

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