Wet weather gives a top day of cricket
LOSING the first day's play because of rain ensured Saturday's limited-over clash between Sawtell and Northern Districts turned out a cracker.
Sawtell won partly thanks to some lower order swashbuckling from Ben Andrews but that factor wasn't revealed until the ever-present threat offered by the Rebels was finally eliminated.
Batting first, the premiers registered 224 thanks to a half century from Chris Neal and a series of handy cameos along the way.
Veteran Andrew Murray used plenty of guile to spin out five Sawtell batsmen in the first indication the visitors wouldn't be laying down. After being in trouble early, including the quick loss of Craig Howarth, Northern Districts introduced the competition's most improved operator Taj Dosanjh and the youngster racked up a fast 72 - a perfect foil to the solid 44 from opener Ben Gudex - to almost steal the show.
Sawtell tried to cut their own throats by offering up 30 sundries (including 22 wide deliveries) but with the run-outs of Want and Wear without scoring, the job was eventually complete when the Rebels could make no advance on 187.
But in hindsight, without the wagging tail of Andrews, it might have turned out differently.
At Brelsford Park, it was another heartbreaking outcome for Coffs Hotel Tigers who found the run chase against Dorrigo just a little beyond them. Chris Barrington looked close to collapse after a stonewalling 24 that temporarily kept the dream alive but once Justin Gilbert found the right line and length enabling him to smash up the tail, the curtains were drawn.
And the celebrations at Park Beach were well-earned after Colts dismantled Diggers on the back of an unbeaten 102 from Daryl Parmenter which the all-rounder added gloss to later when completing an amazing spell with ball in hand. Parmenter's three wickets helped bundle the visitors out for a paltry 64 in their first innings where only opener Colin Coombes managed to break double figures. Colts sent them back to the crease with more hope of fielding practise than an outright victory and Diggers made a further 2-22 by stumps.