Tigers devour the blue caps
TOP-END and middle-order batsmen were again the big winners when round one of Coffs Harbour District Cricket was completed on Saturday.
But in the case of opener Glen Johnson's massive 78 for Sawtell, it wasn't enough to get the premiers home and Coffs Tigers had just enough up their sleeves to claim a 22-run victory and chalk up the first genuine upset of the summer.
Still, the gutsy Blue Caps gave it everything.
Following the early departure of nightwatchman Simon Bathgate, Johnson and Gus Garland put on an 88-run partnership to get the show on the road, only to have rival captain Kyle Paterson interfere with the sense of euphoria.
Paterson bowled Johnson, then had Garland trapped in front four runs later, before showing Dave Angus the door in the next over.
Once again Sawtell's middle order rallied with Andrew Wilson reaching his half century while Nathan O'Connor, Brad Lewis and Chris Neal kept the scoreboard ticking over.
Kieran Hogan then combined with Michael Bailey to shatter any hopes Sawtell had of confounding their tormentors when they removed Wilson and Oates, leaving the home side just short despite a final show of defiance from Neal and Campbell.
Tigers skipper Kyle Paterson took four wickets in the match but it was a hard lesson for day one centurion Nicolas Rowe who experienced the other side of the coin when asked to bowl.
His ten overs produced no wickets and he was belted to all points of the compass for his troubles.
There was no happy ending for Diggers Ex-Services in their clash with Coffs Colts.
Diggers were asked to bat a second time when the home side easily passed their first innings total of 150, eventually declaring at 7-248.
Not out batsman Andrew Firth didn't have an opportunity to continue those day one heroics after retiring from the scene but Daryl Parmenter didn't muck around, contributing 94 to the total before holing out to veteran paceman Terry Herbert, agonisingly short of another hundred.
The innings was full of confidence and Parmenter took one team mate after another along for the ride.
And with no hope of winning, Diggers salvaged a lot of pride and showed plenty of grit when sent out for their second turn at the crease.
Openers McHugh and Byrne got the runs flowing and Sam Davey reached an exact 50 before Parmenter trapped him leg before.
Meanwhile, Dorrigo's imported English opener Nathan Perry-Warnes showed plenty of his stroke-making talents with an enthralling 63, before finally losing his wicket to a run out.
All the batsmen down to five made starts but there were anxious moments galore when Sandstrom and Neaves departed with 40 runs still to be obtained.
Veteran Bruce Mackie then combined with Lewis Hammett to steady the innings and the pair remained unbeaten mid way through the 64th over when the Nana Glen total was topped.