By TANIA PHILLIPS
PALM Beach Currumbin have established themselves as the team to beat after cruising to an outright victory over Murwillumbah in the opening round of the Gabba Sports Cup at Les Cave Oval on Saturday.
Chasing Palm Beach's first innings total of 293, the home side was dismissed twice inside four hours. Murwillumbah compiled 96 in the first innings and when forced to follow on crumbled for a measley 51 runs in their second dig.
"It wasn't very good," Murwillumbah veteran Kevan Newell said of his side's performance.
"We have a lot of work to do if we can't get over 100 (with the bat).
"We were 6-80 in the first innings so we should have scored well over 100."
Newell, acting captain at the weekend, said a lack of discipline by the younger players had cost the team dearly.
"I think there will be a bit of work for Keith (club coach Keith Wyatt) to do," he said.
"The young guys think they can go out and just hit fours and sixes - it's a bit disappointing."
Newell, who top scored in the first innings with 38, said a lack of experience in the middle-order had proved the side's undoing.
"I don't think Palm Beach bowled that well in the first innings, although they did in the second," he said.
Palm Beach skipper Troy Newton was one of the stars with the ball, finishing the match with five wickets. He claimed 4-13 and 1-18. Jay Thompson (2-21 and 3-9) also bagged a five-for while Jason Simmons picked up 5-15 in the second innings.
"We fielded pretty well, we only dropped one catch all day," Newton said.
"It is probably one of the cleanest displays in the field that we ever put in. Everyone played well and the wickets were shared around.
"It was the perfect start to the season."
Palm Beach were undefeated during last year's regular season with their only loss coming in the grand final at the hands of Surfers Paradise.
Palm Beach take on Pottsville next week while Murwillumbah will play Cudgen.