Colts bowler Andrew Firth bends his back as Tigers rival Scott Street awaits the ball.
Colts bowler Andrew Firth bends his back as Tigers rival Scott Street awaits the ball. Leigh Jensen

Sawtell targets Tigers

PARK Beach Bowling Club Colts are into the Coffs Harbour District Cricket grand final after lowering the boom on Coffs Tigers in their major semi-final clash at the weekend.

What promised to be a nail-biting tussle turned out to be one-way traffic after Colts recorded 190 in the first visit to the crease and Tigers were only able to offer 75 in reply.

While the match continued into a second day, the first innings victory puts the premiers into the box seat – rain, hail or shine – for the decider on April 2-3.

Tigers will get a second bite of the cherry, providing they can overcome the late-season surge by Sawtell when the sides meet in the preliminary final at Brelsford Park next weekend.

Sawtell advanced after downing Dorrigo in an awesome contest at Richardson Park, highlighted by the six-wicket bags picked up by rival skippers Ben Andrews and Justin Gilbert.

Dorrigo won the toss and sent the home side in for the first session.

The gamble looked likely to pay off when Gilbert ripped through the home side’s top order.

He collected Glen Johnson without scoring, Gus Garland for two and Chris Neal after a snappy 24.

But when Mark Oates was despatched to the dressing room with two runs against his name, the Blue Caps were in some bother at 4-29.

“The boys at the bottom of the card came good,” Andrews said when asked what saved the day.

“Until then we struggled and it really had me worried for a long, long time.

“Dave Angus stuck around until we finally got something going and we had a bit of a result from Matty (Andrews) and Jeff Butterworth.”

The two credited with the recovery were both added to Gilbert’s tally but not before Andrews (44) and Butterworth (19) had steered the side to a reasonable 135.

The Buzzards started well and were 1-40 by stumps when heavy rain arrived and forced the final six overs of the day to be abandoned.

But the visitors still had fine prospects for the final day.

That is, until the rain came down in buckets overnight and, in hindsight, probably ruined any faint hopes that might have lingered by the time Sunday dawned.

“The wicket was covered but you can’t keep every bit of moisture away,” Andrews said.

“Fortunately, we started putting the ball in the right places.”

That statement was made with humility and the information had to be dragged out of Andrews that he was the man who did most to end Dorrigo’s season with figures of 6-35 off 27 overs of hard toil.

“Give Dave Angus a wrap for his 1-20 and the rest of the boys for putting their heads down,” Andrews said.

Now that Sawtell is storming back into contention, Andrews believes his side is a genuine chance of taking a flying leap into the decider.

“Tigers must be feeling it, going down to Colts on the first day,” he said, getting the mind games under way.

“We are in a confident frame of mind and the big effort will be there on the weekend, that I can promise.”

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