Season opener proves that 2009/10 will be a beauty

SPEAKING before Saturday's opening round got under way, Coffs Harbour District Cricket Association's newly-appointed media spokesperson Paul Harris predicted it might take a few weeks before the competition broke fully into stride.

His thoughts may have been prompted by the shock departure of Northern Districts from first grade, just three days out from the start, and the off-season horse trading of players.

“A lot of players seem to be going around in circles and playing where their mates are and while there are new faces coming in from outside the district, it may take a bit of time for things to settle down,” he said.

But that was before the flurry of runs on the opening day of the season.

In first grade, Nicolas Rowe belted the leather off the cork and came away with career-best figures of 107 not out against his name.

Scott Morgan fell 15 runs short of triple figures with his opening dig for Nana Glen and if things go right for Colts' batsman Andrew Firth next weekend, he's also staring down the barrel of a big opening contribution after finishing unbeaten on 72, at a time when a big score was crucial.

And the hits just kept on coming through the lower grades.

Dorrigo third grade had a pair of centurions, with Alan Gilbert (155) and former first-grader William Saker (102) taking the cudgel to Colts.

Sawtell second-grader Dave McCormack offered his credentials for top grade selection by clubbing 130 against Nana Glen, while Diggers' third grade's Brock Hutchinson can feel proud of his 53 against Colts.

If the tracks stand up, by next weekend the flow of runs might have the bowlers in retreat.

Craig 'Flea' Haworth is still to bat for new club Coffs Colts and when he has his eye in, any amount of fireworks is possible.

Turner, Gilbert, Moore and veteran Bruce Mackie all have the ability to score big for Dorrigo ... and of course, there's the little matter off Sawtell, who pride themselves on the versatility of their batsmen.

Glen Johnson, already at the crease, has a previous double century on his resume and veteran Jeff Butterworth, Gus Garland and skipper Chris Neal can be relied upon to pull something out of the hat when the Blue Caps need it most.

The best the bowlers could come up with was four wickets each from Oliver Sandstrom and Matt Francis.



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