Chris Neal guides his eye toward this delivery and prepares to despatch it to the outfield.
Chris Neal guides his eye toward this delivery and prepares to despatch it to the outfield. Leigh Jensen

Weather gives cricket one dry week

FEW weeks like the past one have been ‘as good’ for Coffs Harbour District Cricket.

After the Christmas-New Year break and a series of washouts left players stir crazy for want of a game, the comeback round has three matches on a knife edge.

And that’s without the outpouring of goodwill directed at the cricketing fraternity after a magnificently promoted Australia Day fundraiser for Queensland flood victims.

But the reality remains that three matches need to be completed today with the outcome at Brelsford Park alone threatening to upset the equilibrium if the match favourites, Sawtell, can’t shut down the run-scoring potential of Coffs Tigers.

A thick outfield last Saturday badly hampered the competition leader’s progress as they toughed it out for 67 long, torturous, humidity-soaked overs to emerge with just 121 runs for their efforts.

What mowing was ordered for the ground during the week may likely affect the outcome.

Coffs Tigers didn’t have a great 2009-10, but this summer has been stupendous.

While rival outfits have waited for them to hit the wall, it hasn’t happened and with a full day available and a generous 118-run target on the cards, a new ladder leader by sundown isn’t out of the question.

At Fitzroy Oval, Diggers Ex-Services have the advantage with 203 runs already on the board against yet-to-bat Dorrigo.

However, captain Steve Meakins is wary of the visi- tors, especially with rival skipper Justin Gilbert fully recovered from the most talked- about busted finger in years.

“Justin deserves his ranking as one of – if not the best – cricketers in the region,” he said.

“When he fires the side always goes with him and we can’t afford to let their top batting order get a head start.”

Meakins was ecstatic at the work ethic of his batsmen last week but now it’s up to the bowlers.

In the match at Coffs Coast Sports and Leisure Park, it’s a fairly large longshot but any ill-disciplined approach from the Colts batsmen could spell disaster.

Bellingen only tallied 113 last weekend but Colts struggled in replay and are 4-60.

An early breakthrough by the young Bello quicks might quickly turn this match on its head.

The table before today’s final outcomes reads: Sawtell 27, Park Beach Bowling Club Colts 25, Coffs Tigers 25, Diggers Ex-Services 18, Dorrigo 10 and Bellingen 10.

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