Tweed leaders stumble

UNBEATEN after seven rounds of the LJ Hooker League cricket competition, Cudgen suffered a major setback at the hands of Marist Brothers at the weekend.

Requiring a win to stay ahead of southern powerhouses Ballina and Casino, the previous competition leaders collapsed to a 53-run loss, bundled out in the 31st over.

Speaking with the Tweed Daily News before the year-opening fixture, Cudgen captain Jamie Wilson had revealed his concern entering the back half of the season, but he - along with the rest of the League - would never have expected such a rout.

“I don’t really know what went wrong,” Wilson said yesterday.

“We were moving along quite nicely, and should have had them, but just collapsed.

“I don’t know if we were a little dusty after Christmas, but they came really switched, played great cricket and in the end I think wanted it more.”

Having won the toss, Wilson elected to send the visitors into bat on Reg Dalton Oval and with one of the best bowling attacks in the competition – second highest for wickets taken (88) and second best for runs conceded (1056) – it seemed a smart ploy.

Cudgen have had their way with most batting line-ups this season, and welcoming back Mick Anderson and Craig Wilson to the arsenal should have had the firepower to get the job done.

However, it wasn’t until the visitors had passed 50 that Cudgen finally broke through with Anderson (2-26) snaring both openers to have Marist at 2-71.

The double blow unsettled Marist and a brace to Terry Wilson (2-36) in the one over along with a smart Aaron Laycock run-out soon had the southerners on the back foot at 5-74.

Yet as quickly as Cudgen gained the ascendancy, they lost it and Marist’s tail wagged its way to 9-185 off 40 overs.

In response, Cudgen looked a mere shadow of their former selves.

Opener Chris Moase (30) and Heath Wilson (34) were the only two to mount any sort of resistance with Laycock (10) and Heath Wilson (15) the only others to register double figures.

In the end Cudgen were all out for 132 in the 31st over.

Elsewhere, Pottsville’s struggles continued with Nick Watt’s men enduring a day they’d rather forget against Alstonville at Seabreeze Oval.

Having to tough it out in the sun as their bowlers struggled in the sweltering afternoon heat, Pottsville’s fielders could do little but watch the score rise with the temperature.

The day’s play began well enough for the young line-up, snaring an early wicket to have the visitors at 1-5, but what little luck they began with soon perished.

Alstonville’s batsmen had a field day before Watt dumped the wicket-keeping gloves and took the responsibility upon his shoulders.

Registering team best figures of 2-13 from two overs, the inspirational skipper did all he could to spur his troops on but the damage had already been done and Alstonville finished at 8-241.

In reply, Pottsville could manage only 34 with opener Sean Anderson (11) the only batsman to reach double figures.

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