Colts campaign hangs by thread
IF South Tweed's cricketers are to maintain momentum with the top four, then a victory over Tintenbar-East Ballina this afternoon is imperative.
Seven points adrift of fourth-placed Ballina with four rounds remaining, the Colts' LJ Hooker League campaign hangs by a thread ahead of the crucial round 10 showdown.
To make matters worse, Tintenbar also are in contention for a finals berth. Six points clear of eighth-placed South Tweed, the fifth-placed southerners will be gunning to improve position.
South Tweed have been hot and cold since the departure of skipper Tait Burns three weeks back and while they have won as many games as any team except Casino, four losses while other teams received rained-out draws have hampered them severely.
Having comfortably accounted for Lennox Head a fortnight ago, the early-season contenders last week had their pants pulled down by Ballina.
All out for 55, Colts will look to get away to a good start against their hosts and get their finals push back on track.
A fifth win for South Tweed today would see them leapfrog Tintenbar and, results pending, could place them as high as fifth.
At stumps all attention will turn to the result at Megan Crescent Oval where third-placed Lennox Head are playing host to the ever-improving Pottsville.
Having notched an outright win over lowly Murwillumbah, last year's winless wooden-spooners Pottsville caused the upset of the season to date when they toppled last year's beaten grand finalists Marist Brothers on their own turf.
Unlike South Tweed, Lennox have been beneficiaries of match cancellations. However, that's not to take anything away from the Lennox XI who have been one of the season's surprise packets and have also registered wins over Marist and Murwillumbah, as well as Terranora and Byron Bay.
While Lennox will look to cement their spot in the four, Pottsville's young and enthusiastic charges will be quietly confident of causing a stir.
On a tight table, victory for Pottsville could see them climb from 13th to equal 10th. That will be dependant on how cellar-dwellers Murwillumbah go against 10th-placed Southern Districts at Neilson Park, Lismore.
Despite bringing up the rear for much of the season, Murwillumbah are the only side to trump Pottsville's efforts against Marist, with a shock seven points from their match-up with Ballina last start.
Should the boys from Rabjones overcome their hosts, they would potentially set up a final-round showdown against Byron Bay, with the loser to take the spoon.
A loss this afternoon would all but cement the dreaded utensil.
Elsewhere, derby rivals Terranora and Cudgen clash in what shapes as the match of the round at Bilambil, while Marist Brothers battle Ballina Bears at Oakes Oval, Alstonville lock horns with Lismore Workers at Hill Park and Casino collide with Byron Bay at Queen Elizabeth Park.