Cudgen's bowlers deliver

CUDGEN'S bowlers starred in a 26-run victory over Ballina on Saturday, a result that has thrust the Tweed team to the top of the LJ Hooker League ladder.

Cudgen captain Terry Wilson was delighted by what he rated as his side's best fielding effort of the season to defend a meagre score of 125.

“It was fantastic,” he said.

“Every person contributed one way or another, our bowlers bowled in the right spot and we backed them up by fielding well.”

While delighted with the result, Saturday's match at Fripp Oval would have felt like groundhog day for the Cudgen players.

After their thrilling one-run win over top-four team Lennox Head the week before, Cudgen were again forced to defend a small total against a side capable of usurping its top-two position on the ladder.

However, Cudgen's formidable attack proved its worth.

Mick Anderson (3-20), Chris Moase (2-18) and new recruit Tait Burns (3-15) tore through the Ballina line-up as the home side crumbled to be out for 99.

Earlier, the bowlers had starred with the bat to ensure they had a total to defend; the last five batsmen contributing 57 runs to Cudgen's score.

Aaron Laycock (36) was the only recognised batsman to impose himself on the game.

After being sent in, Cudgen were reeling at 3-13 when Burns, playing his first game for Cudgen since defecting from South Tweed, was trapped in front without scoring.

Laycock and Jamie Wilson (14) then combined to steady the ship, adding 28 in a dogged partnership.

Moase lead Cudgen's lower-order resistance, contributing a valuable 19, while Damien King (12) and Joshua Arnold (10) showed the batsmen how it was done batting at 10 and 11.

“It wasn't an easy wicket to bat on, but thanks to a good contribution from Aaron (Laycock) we were able to put on a reasonably good total,” Wilson said.

“There were valuable contributions all the way down to 11, so it was a really good team effort.”

Ballina struggled from the outset.

Anderson and Moase made light work of the top order with the help of James Adams (1-9) and the hosts staggered to 5-16.

Burns then made up for his failure with the bat by taking 3-15 off five devastating overs.

Wilson revealed he wasn't going to give Burns a bowl, but wanted to give the 21-year-old an opportunity after he fell to a “questionable” LBW decision and then dropped one of the “easiest catches ever seen in first grade cricket”.

“He wasn't going to get a bowl but I gave him the ball and he bowled well, that's what happens when you have an excellent player of his quality,” he said.

The result, in conjunction with Marist Brothers' shock defeat of former competition leaders Casino lifted Cudgen to the top of the points ladder.

And the news just keeps improving for the club with the return of in-form fast bowler James Julius from Queensland Country duties to give selectors a welcome headache ahead of the clash against Tintenbar-East Ballina.

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