Openers on offensive
BOTTOM-of-the-ladder Murwillumbah showed they will not languish there long after they made third-placed Cudgen battle hard for the points in their LJ Hooker League clash at Rabjones Oval on Saturday.
Having surpassed Murwillumbah’s first innings total of 140, Cudgen captain Jamie Wilson declared at 7-150 and began the second day’s play in pursuit of outright points.
However, Murwillumbah’s openers Blake Reynolds and captain Matt Parker launched a bold offensive, racing out to 79 before James Adams broke through, bowling Parker for 56.
Reynolds continued to set the pace but struggled to find partners with only Paul Dhillon (12) or Nigel Chapman (13) making it to double figures as James Julius (3-36) and Chris Moase (2-27) ripped through the lower order.
Reynolds was eventually out for 72, his dismissal prompting Parker to declare at 9-201.
Needing 192 for outright victory, Cudgen went the slog but were soon in trouble at 3-23, with the Wilson trio of Jamie (14), Jordyn (4) and Heath (1) out cheaply.
The next Wilson combination however had more success, with Terry (42) and Craig (39) combining to carry the total to 101 before Craig was caught and bowled by Nigel Chapman (2-78).
With the partnership destroyed, Cudgen were forced to alter their tactics and play out the day, finishing on 8-137.
Cudgen finished seven points richer for their efforts in week one; enough to keep them in the top four after the second round.
Conversely, Murwillumbah remain anchored at the bottom of the ladder but will take plenty of positives out of the match ahead of their round three encounter with Ballina.
The reigning premiers will enter the match on a high after accounting for South Tweed at the weekend.
Chasing South Tweed’s first inning total of 188, Ballina resumed Saturday on 2-88.
The visitors made short work of the chase, cruising to 9-292 before declaring.
Phil Martin was the most destructive of the Colts bowlers, claiming 4-42 while captain Jack Boote finished with 3-70.
Returning to the crease to see out the clock, Colts’ batsmen notched up 3-143 by stumps with Tate Burns unbeaten on 105.
Opener Matthew Shean (29) also impressed.
Meanwhile, Alstonville remain atop the ladder after a solid win over Lismore Workers at Heaps Oval.
Having confidently declared their first innings at 8-343, the league leaders withstood some anxious moments and two half centuries to dismiss Workers for 255.
Greg Porter did most of the damage taking 6-50 from 15 while the ever-economical Scott Petty snared the remainder, finishing with for 4-19 from 11.
It was an uneventful fixture at Oakes Oval with Casino breezing past the target set by Southern Districts (Lismore).
Requiring just 116 runs for first inning points, the competition favourites required just five batsmen to get the job done and secure their second win of the season.
Down the road at Thompson Oval, Brunswick/Byron recorded their first win of the season over Lennox Head.
Lennox would have fancied themselves a chance when play resumed, chasing just 144 runs for victory.
However, Brunswick’s bowlers aimed up where their batsmen hadn’t and toppled the visitors for a demoralising 108.
Conversely the runs came thick and fast in the draw between Marist Brothers and Tintenbar-East Ballina at Neilson Park.
Tintenbar had won the toss in week one and courtesy of a Kane Hamilton century (161), set a daunting target of 383.
Marist too batted with vigour and early on looked an outside chance of reeling in the mammoth total, but as the wickets started to fall, the best they could do was bat out the day and hold on for a draw, finishing at 8-225.