Tough chance: PBBC Colts bowler Daniel Harris drops a sharp chance off Diggers batsman Joe Willman who went on to post 31 runs in Saturday’s clash.
Tough chance: PBBC Colts bowler Daniel Harris drops a sharp chance off Diggers batsman Joe Willman who went on to post 31 runs in Saturday’s clash. Trevor Veale

Park Beach hitting straps

PARK Beach Bowling Colts skipper Matt Rose guarantees the best of his side will emerge following the holiday break.

The premiers consolidated second place on the ladder behind Sawtell when they overtook the mark of 126 set by Diggers Ex-Services in the 40th over with three wickets in hand.

“That was a good, solid effort helped by winning the toss and then putting into practice the homework we’d done on Diggers,” Rose said.

“Before the game we had a talk about which bowlers we’d send at each of their batsmen and everything paid off to get them out for a fairly reasonable score to chase.

“It finally came down to our batsmen applying themselves to make sure we arrived on time.”

Rose said he thought the wicket looked “fairly dampish” at first glance but was surprised it actually played as well as it did.

“Being a really humid afternoon the conditions weren’t always comfortable but we managed to put the spin bowlers on at the right time and they managed to land the ball in all the right places,” he said.

“Matt Francis and Andrew Firth had a great day when they got four wickets each and their form is exceptional.

“They complement each other perfectly.

“I guess the dynamics are that we bowl well when the conditions and targets are easily within our capability and we bat well all the time.

“Mood in the camp is really good and we’re going into the break on a high and expecting to do even better when we come back in January.

“For some reason we always do well in the last half of the season and now that we’re in second spot and within striking distance of Sawtell, I’m pretty happy with the way things are going.”

Diggers made an ominous start by losing opener Neil Lollback without scoring and while they managed to steady the ship, losing the next three wickets of Bellamy, McHugh and captain Meakins in the space of four runs put them on the back foot.

Troy Herbert lifted the tally with help from Joe Willman and Dave Szumowski but when Francis and Firth stepped up to the plate to pick the stitches out of the tail, the innings closed with one over unused and not enough runs in the bank to be comfortable.

Colts lost their first man at 47 and had a top order mini-collapse to be 3-49 but with Josh Noble holding up one end and Andrew Firth in particular making a solid contribution, slowly the probability of victory came into sight.

Batting down the order, Rose announced he’d had so much fun when partnered at the crease by veteran batsman Selwyn Manz.

The pair has combined on numerous occasions at club and representative level and the excitement the pair felt was passed on to the rest of the squad.

“Hitting the winning runs with Manzy was a real thrill,” the captain said.

“It was a bit of a trip down memory lane but one thing hasn’t changed – he still won’t take any orders from me.

“Any club will tell you there is always a place for somebody like Selwyn as he livens up the game and the good feeling becomes infectious right throughout the side.”

Apart from his partner-in-crime, Rose was singing the praises of quality opening bat Josh Noble.

“It may sound like I’m trying to talk him up – which I am – but I hope the rep selectors have a real close look at him for the future,” he said.

“Not only is he fantastic at the top of the order, he’s probably the form batsman in the entire competition.

“His instincts are superb and he’s showing the rest of us how to carry out the job with a bat in the hand.”

At Richardson Park, Sawtell opener Chris Neal was first man to the crease and wasted no time showing the opponents from Bellingen the way to the exit by smashing his way to a fast 64 out of the first 92 runs posted.

Chasing 7-215, it was a futile hope for the visitors as they were brought back to earth after last week’s superb win over Dorrigo.

They managed 71 in reply but if there was good news, they did hang around for a praiseworthy 39 overs in the face of a four-man battery of bowlers who concentrated solely on the stumps and reaped the benefits.

The competition is now in recess until January 8.

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