Local boys armed for derby
THE battle at the top between Cudgen and Terranora in today’s LJ Hooker League action is worth more than just points.
Whoever triumphs on Reg Dalton Oval secures the bragging rights, and in a sport like cricket where sledging is imperative, being top dog counts for everything.
“There will be plenty of banter, but it should be good fun,” Cudgen captain Jamie Wilson said.
“We know they’ll be out to knock us off and claim the pedestal, but we also know they haven’t been able to in a while.”
“This is the big one, the game we most want to win, against the team we most want to beat,” Terranora captain Leigh Baker said.
“There will be plenty of sledging, in fact I’d be surprised if it halted.
“At the end of the day, the points are great, but we’d love the bragging rights.”
Both sides boast a wealth of representative talent, and together with a strong contingent from South Tweed, make up the majority of the impressive Tweed District representative side.
They know each other’s games; they know their opponents’ strengths and weaknesses; they both know they’re in for a tough fixture.
Cudgen has long been thepowerhouse Tweed outfit in Northern Rivers cricket, and, after a commanding, undefeated start to the season – two first innings triumphs over South Tweed and Murwillumbah, and one outright over Lismore Workers – sit atop the ladder three points clear of reigning premiers Ballina.
“We know they’ve got some talented rep players, but they’ve also got a couple of good young blokes who don’t play rep like Luke McMahon and Craig Bonnor, who we don’t know much about, apart from that they are good young talents,” Wilson said.
“But having said that I think we’ve lifted this year and everyone seems more enthusiastic about starting well and being consistent all year.
“A lot of our guys are playing really good cricket, so our eyes are on at least a top-two finish so we can secure a home semi-final.”
After an opening-round loss to Marist Brothers without influential skipper Leigh Baker, the Terranora boys have rallied together to produce two exceptional victories over Pottsville (outright) and more recently Alstonville (first innings) to climb into fifth spot.
“We’re very happy with the way we’re going,” Baker said.
“We’ll be further strengthened by Josh Bonnor returning to action this week, which is a big bonus.
“Our bowlers have been doing a good job and sharing the responsibility, with all of us creeping up on double figures for wickets taken, which is a positive sign of a good team.
“We’ll need to see out the 80 overs and keep them in the field as long as possible if we’re going to win.
“But we’ll have to watch for the likes of Jamie, who has hit 200 in two weeks, Craig Wilson who is always a fantastic all-rounder, and James Julius who has been exceptional with the ball.”
Meanwhile Pottsville have a great opportunity to register their first win of the season when they take on fellow strugglers Lennox Head at Seabreeze Oval, as do Murwillumbah who host Southern Districts at Rabjones Oval.
South Tweed are in for a tough task against heavyweights Casino at Queen Elizabeth Park this afternoon.
The first ball will be delivered at 1pm.