Cudgen collapse in final disaster
NOT even a magnificent seven-wicket haul in the second innings from ace speedster Michael Anderson could prevent Cudgen crashing to outright defeat against Casino Cavaliers in the LJ Hooker League cricket grand-final at Kingscliff's Reg Dalton Oval.
As minor premiers, Cudgen went into the match requiring only a draw or a wash-out to claim the major premiership but both teams arrived at the ground determined to produce a result.
Cudgen went into the game in terrific form and would have been confident of seeing off the Cavaliers' attempt to claim the 2010-2011 crown.
But alas it was not to be.
Casino won the toss and elected to bat and led by Sam Irvine and Michael Wood, who both contributed 34, they compiled what at first appeared to be a disappointing 139.
However with veteran paceman Al Nowlan (4-20) and Mark Mison (3-16) on target, Cudgen were bundled out for a meagre 60 to leave the visitors into the box seat.
Casino, with Anderson sending down “hand grenades”, scrambled to 130 in its second innings, leaving Cudgen 19 overs to knock up 208 runs for an unlikely victory.
Cudgen refused to raise the white flag and were determined to give it a real dig but once big-hitting opener Craig Wilson was dismissed for 21 their hopes were dashed.
Despite that, the Cudgen batsmen went out to the middle with the intention of going down fighting but the task was beyond them and they were quickly dismissed for 91 in the 14th over.
Cudgen president John King was proud of his players, especially Anderson for his inspired second innings performance that gave Cudgen some hope of chasing down the target.
“Ando tried his heart ... he nearly made the ball talk and kept racing in and giving it his all,” King said.
“Naturally all of us are disappointed with the result but you can't take it away from Casino who thoroughly deserved their win.”
King said Cudgen players, officials and supporters should be proud of the club's overall performances this year.
“This is Cudgen Cricket Club's most successful season ever – the firsts winning the minor premiership, thirds finishing both minor and major premiers and fourths winding up runners-up after the grand final was washed out,” he said.
“We are in the fortunate position of having a good blend of youth and experience throughout the club – these younger players are really coming on and we'll be back better than ever next summer.”