Heavyweights show their strength
THE 2010-11 cricketing summer has had a difficult birth but the season is finally underway.
With the opening round lost to bad weather and Nana Glen dropping out of first grade a couple of days prior to blast-off, the hope was for plenty of action at the weekend.
And that’s exactly what occurred with two of the three matches poised for outright results after reigning premiers Park Beach Bowling Club Colts and fellow competition heavyweights Sawtell flexed their muscles.
Colts wasted no time despatching competition newcomers Bellingen for 57 off 32 overs and spent 27 overs at the crease themselves before a sporting declaration.
Bellingen are less one batsman already in reply and face a nervous wait for Saturday to arrive.
Meanwhile, Sawtell’s powerhouse hitting at the top of the order was spectacular but Coffs Tigers skipper Kieran Hogan reported the running order of the match had many dimensions.
“Their bowling was too good for us, their fielding was too good for us ... and when they finally got in to bat they gave us no firm chances,” Hogan said.
“When they did go close to holing out we were unprepared and let them off the hook.”
Blair Craddock tore into Tigers, claiming 3-5 and had opener Troy Henderson and first drop Bradley Smith back in the pavilion with ‘duck eggs’ against their names before the scoreboard reached double figures.
Isaac Hillery continued the bad dream by chopping up the middle order and while Hogan tried to get something happening at the back end, the writing was already on the wall.
“Bit by bit the wicket kept flattening out and in the end, gave us nothing,” Hogan lamented.
“By the time Gus (Garland) and Glen (Johnson) came out we already knew we had a heck of a job on our hands.”
Garland said it was a big confidence booster to find himself so quickly among the runs, while admitting it wasn’t always as easy as it looked.
By the end of the day the ball was looking as big as a garbage bin lid but he had his share of scares along the way.
“Early in the piece they gave me one really big fright and I don’t know how I got away with it,” he said.
“Still, it was all good and it looks like we’re pretty well set up for the next stage.”
While no firm strategy has been agreed upon, a scenario was put to Garland that he’d be given a short period to go for that century and the declaration would follow soon after.
“I’d better get into it as we’ll probably bat for no longer than half an hour before sending them in,” he predicted, trying to play down the personal satisfaction and significance of possibly reaching triple figures.
“However I can promise I won’t be mucking about when I get out there and intend to open the shoulders.”
The century partnership (142 not out) between Garland and Johnson was the highlight of the opening round, closely followed by Adam Turner and Mick Gilroy’s knock of 78 for Dorrigo.
Down the divisions, Diggers broke the 200-run barrier in both third and fourth grade and while no batsmen reached his century, seven across the grades went above 50.
Sawtell bowling pair Hillery and Craddock reined supreme during their spells.