Tweed District fast bowler James Julius in action.
Tweed District fast bowler James Julius in action. Blainey Woodham

Cudgen have reclaimed top spot

CUDGEN have reclaimed top spot on the LJ Hooker League ladder after registering the most unlikely of victories over fifth-placed Alstonville at Hill Park on Saturday.

With the hosts poised to spring an upset at 3-64 in pursuit of 84 when play resumed, no-one except Cudgen skipper Jamie Wilson genuinely believed his men could turn the game on its head, but sure enough the magicians pulled off one of cricket’s great escapes.

Pace pair James “Jimmy” Julius (3-17 off 9) and Michael Anderson (4-22 off 14) ripped through the remaining seven wickets for just 14 runs to hand Cudgen a miraculous eight-run victory.

“The captain has got faith in his men,” Wilson said.

“I honestly thought we could do it if we struck early because they are not a good chasing side, and sure enough Jimmy and Mick were outstanding; I couldn’t ask for anything more.

“But the reality is we were lucky to get away with it and we’re not always going to be able to defend 84, against the better teams we’ll get smashed.”

After wrapping up the first inning points, Cudgen went into bat in search of an outright victory but rain put a halt to proceedings just eight overs in, with Cudgen yet to lose a wicket.

Despite missing the outright, Cudgen’s hopes of hosting a semi-final are looking bright with the Tweed powerhouses sitting atop the table on 67 points with tree rounds remaining.

Reigning premiers Ballina, who beat winless wooden-spooners Pottsville at Fripp Oval, are second ahead of Casino (62) with Marist Brothers (55) a distant fourth after they failed to defeat Southern Districts at Neilson Park.

“It’s amazing to be back on top of the ladder, particularly after the way we played last week,” Wilson said. “Results couldn’t have been any better for us really.

“We’ve still got to lift our game, but things are looking up.”



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