Cudgen carries pride of Tweed

AN eager Cudgen Cricket Club yearns to go one better this year when they clash with southern stalwarts Ballina in their LJ Hooker League semi-final at Fripp Oval today.

The local powerhouses were disappointingly outed at this stage last season by Tintenbar-East Ballina, but captain Jamie Wilson believes his men are all the more ready for battle this time around.

“The boys are absolutely pumped and raring to go,” he said

“We've had two excellent training sessions this week and can't wait to get out there and take it to them.

“We definitely want to go one better this year and won't be happy if we lose, so we must be at our best.”

The sides have met on just one occasion this year, and despite boasting two of the competition's most formidable line-ups, the fixture was a relatively sloppy and disappointing affair.

Cudgen won the toss and elected to bowl, quickly gaining the upper hand and dismissing Ballina for just 152.

However the batsmen failed to emulate the bowlers' success and the side slumped to a meagre 140 in response.

“The last clash was ordinary, but we're aware that they've put together some good scores and have a solid batting line-up,” Wilson said.

“I expect the pitch to be like a road unless they get some heavy rain, so I'd say we must make at least 300 if we're to win.

“We'd like to bat first, but we're more than happy to bowl.”

Last time they met leading champion player Nathan Anson was the thorn in Cudgen's side, high-scoring with 48 before taking 7-43 from his 20 overs.

“Nathan has come back from Dolphins and proved a handful for most sides this year, so he's one we have to wary of,” Wilson said.

“We learned a lot from that game and have spent time this week working out how to bowl to each individual, so hopefully that pays off.

“You don't win games by bowling short; our attack must find a good line and length and restrict their run-rate.”

Intimidating pacemen James Julius and Michael Anderson are expected to spearhead the attack from each end, but it is long-time playing partner Craig Wilson that the captain expects to see fire.

The all-rounder is the club's highest ranked on the champion player standings, sitting in third spot after a destructive season with both the bat and ball.

The two-day fixture is scheduled to begin at 11am on both Saturday and Sunday, with the victor advancing to next week's final to meet the winner of the second semi-final between Casino and Tintenbar.

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