THERE will be no fairytale in 2014/15 for Lower Clarence after the representative side was bundled out in its first outing of the NSW Country Plate.
The side had reached consecutive semi-finals of the statewide competition the past two seasons and subsequently had bye rounds until Sunday's round three encounter with Wauchope, who recorded a comprehensive 10-wicket win over Nambucca Valley in round two on October 26.
Reeling from a painful loss to Clarence River the week before in NCCC Inter-District competition, Lower Clarence's top order again faltered when it mattered most.
Chasing 192 for victory, Lower lost both its openers without scoring while Ben McMahon (54) was the shining light of the top order.
Tail-enders Zac Honeybrook (20) and Lachlan Johnson (10) pushed towards the total, but in the end the hosts were 25 runs short.
"The young fellas nearly got us home," Lower Clarence captain Luke Many said.
"We have a group who are under-16 or just out of 16s and have won a few inter-district comps between them. This is the next step up for them and if we can keep them around we will be pretty strong once they get a few games under their belt," Many said.
Brett O'Connor had a solid all-round game, contributing 32 runs, taking 2 for 21 off 8 overs and effecting two run-outs.
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