Colts kick on to make finals
PARK Beach Bowling Club Colts yesterday celebrated a landmark victory over Dorrigo which put them into next weekend’s Coffs Harbour District Cricket Association grand final against Diggers Ex-Services.
Colts hadn’t won at Rowe Oval since the Buzzards returned to the competition and for club president and middle order batsman Neil Coogan, the win was something to savour.
“They made us fight all the way and it wasn’t until coming out after the tea break for the final session that we felt the end was in sight,” he said.
“Winning took character, over and above the exceptional performances within the team.”
One of those exceptional moments was provided by evergreen batsman Craig Haworth who during an unexpected heat wave smashed his way to an even 100 in the first session on day one, which ended with Colts sitting comfortably on 8-194 after the regulation 75 overs.
Haworth was dropped on 15 by Dorrigo skipper, Justin Gilbert ... “Do you have to really put that in the paper?” ... and again on 60, two major elements that hung over proceedings for as long as the match continued.
“On a slow field that total of 194 was as good as 240 or so,” Coogan said.
“When we bowled on Sunday we struck a rough patch and put catches on the grass that we should have taken and as Dorrigo’s tally rose, it made for some tricky moments.”
Hometown heroes Adam Turner and Ben Neaves knuckled down, giving captain Gilbert renewed hope of a favourable outcome.
“It was a great effort by the young blokes,” he said.
“Adam eventually went for 61 but in the first over after tea we lost Ben and from that moment, the game began to slip away.
“It was still a fantastic game and a great performance by my boys.”
Backing up Haworth’s first day theatrics with the bat, all-rounder Daryl Parmenter came into his own.
From 24 overs of dogged persistence, Parmenter took 7-34 to lay the icing on the cake.
A year after Colts bowed out in the last preliminary final, Coogan said the win grin is everywhere in his camp.
“Yeah, we were shattered by that loss back then to Sawtell, so it’s a relief to finally reach the grand final,” he said.
“From the moment we signed Chris Moran to lead the side and started putting a top combination together, we always said it was part of a two-year campaign to win the premiership.
“It won’t be simple, Diggers won’t lie down and make it easy, we know we’ll have to fight hard all the way.
“Still, it’s very, very exciting and we’re happy to ride the moment all the way to the end.”