Through to next round of Country Cup but only just
COFFS Harbour District fell over the line against Hastings River to progress to the next round of the SCG Country Cup.
The Coffs visitors remained three runs clear on 217 when the last Hastings wicket fell and will now play old rivals from Tweed River - probably at Coffs Coast Sports and Leisure Park - on December 14.
At the last moment, skipper Craig Haworth and high profile recruits Dave Angus and Justin Gilbert were forced to withdraw but rather than drop the bundle, manager Matt Rose said the three replacements starred for the side.
"Apart from myself stepping up and getting run out for one," he quipped.
"Russell Gardner got a late call-up and belted 72 runs Raja Sandhu was involved in taking the last wicket when Hastings needed a boundary off the last delivery to win.
"John Lovett took the catch to go with five wickets he picked up in the game and one day after he took six at club level.
"Okay, we won but we should never have put ourselves in that position."
Coffs batted first and were cruising until the innings went pear-shaped at 3-160.
"At one stage the run rate could have seen us finish up around 290 but we lost our way and limped to 217," Rose admitted.
"I was worried when Hastings got to 0-56 before losing their first wicket.
"Then, they went as bad as we did and couldn't kick on with any strong bat play.
"The last two wickets fell in the last over and we were off the hook."
Rose also lamented another statistic which almost wrecked the day.
"We bowled 44 wides in the innings. Sundries almost killed us which to be honest is pretty awful and it's something we have to fix before meeting Tweed.
"Otherwise, it's going to be another year we fall down at that stage of the series."