Diggers paceman Joe Willman caused problems for Bellingen and claimed the prized wicket of Julian Hulbert.
Diggers paceman Joe Willman caused problems for Bellingen and claimed the prized wicket of Julian Hulbert. Trevor Veale

Sawtell caught out by fielding

IF there's one problem uniting every first grade cricket team right now, it's the inability to hold catches.

Diggers boss Steve Meakins was lamenting the problem last week and after Saturday's trip to Dorrigo, Sawtell captain Ben Andrews was singing from a similar hymn sheet.

“The reason is probably the lack of match practice during the big wet,” Andrews said.

“Everybody has been having similar problems but it will get better.

“Dorrigo had a very good batting wicket and there were plenty of runs in it, but if we hadn't dropped so many they mightn't have felt so happy about getting to 149.”

Andrews and Dave Angus did the lion's share of the bowling in oppressive conditions, with a slight breeze making the afternoon bearable.

Sawtell had to face 22 overs before stumps and the wheels came off early when Glen Johnson and Chris Neal were presented with the umpire's raised finger with less than double figures on the board.

“That wasn't the best for us but we consolidated a little with the next pair in. But to be honest it's a 50-50 proposition going forward from here,” Andrews said.

“We're still a hundred or so behind and there's a bit of work to be done.”

Back in Coffs Harbour, the matches being played side-by-side at Coffs Coast Sports and Leisure Park will take some sorting out.

A robust 81 from Bellingen teenager Julian Hulbert in the total of 154 gave the host side plenty to cheer about, especially when it had Diggers under the pump at 4-100 by the end of the day.

But it still has to get rid of Kesby and Lollback before they can build an innings and must plot some method of taming specialist batsmen Meakins and Szumowski when they stride to the middle.

Otherwise, its good work will swiftly unravel.

A similar problem is facing Coffs Tigers and although they had a superb end to the day, reducing Colts to 7-88, the inability to break through for those final three wickets has turned the match into a guessing game.

Colts won the toss and would almost certainly have taken first strike had not a re-shuffle of the batting order been necessary, due to late arrivals.

So Tigers headed out to do the business and made a tentative start, losing Squires, Smith and Henderson to be 3-27 and in need of some salvation.

“We had a poor start to lose those crucial wickets early but found runs in the middle order,” Tigers captain Kyle Paterson said.

“Nic Rowe was first to get us on the way but with a fine innings from Matt Secomb it took the game away from Colts and helped us along.”

Tigers were all out for 145, with Trent Statham claiming 4-28 from his nine overs.

However, it was fellow young gun Nic Rowe who turned the game when the sides switched over.

Kieran Hogan took out Manz and Parmenter before Rowe breezed through the rest of the line-up, ending with 4-6 from his 12 overs, including an astonishing seven maidens.



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