Ardrey in fine form
By TONY WHITE
IT was a honeymoon result for just married Lower Clarence Cricket Association (LCCA) president and star player Matt Ardrey when LCCA thumped Clarence River Cricket Association (CRCA) in the first representative fixture of the season at Ellem Oval on Sunday.
The 26-year-old who plays for Yamba in the LCCA competition earned man of the match honours when he scored a dashing 70, then took 3-19 and two fine catches.
After winning the toss and posting an imposing 7-256 in the 50-over game, LCCA then dismissed CRCA for 172 in 37.2 overs.
"Matt only got married last Saturday. After what he did on Sunday it must be agreeing with him," LCCA captain Darrell Simmons said.
"Matt was saying on the way home from the game he's never had a game like it in his life.
"He was outstanding, he had a great game and was a deserved man of the match."
Simmons said winning the toss and electing to bat first proved vital. "It was a good toss to win," Simmons said.
"It's normally a pretty flat deck up there (Ellem) and fortunately all our top order performed well and we were able to set a decent target.
"And having wickets in hand at the end allowed the tail to have a go. I think we scored about 70 runs off the final 10 overs."
Simmons said the team would be further bolstered in coming weeks with the addition of Yamba strike bowler Mark Valette and several other players.
LCCA openers Geoff Simmons and Daniel Kirk got the side off to a flying start with 36 and 26 respectively.
Nathan Ensbey continued the run flow scoring 44 and down the order Luke Many hit a brisk 34 when quick runs were needed.
The CRCA innings began badly when opener John Holmes was dismissed for a duck but Brett Woods (36) and Matt Ryan (20) steadied the innings.
However, wickets continued to tumble with Andrew Firth going for 13, Rob McKenzie a duck and Matt Hartmann 3, Shaun Ulrick 5 and captain Tony Blanch for another duck.
Mick Summers batted very sensibly under difficult circumstances for 32 and Souths' Matt Kroehnert top scored with a gutsy 34.
Apart from Ardrey, Kane Aeschelman starred with the ball for LCCA taking 3-34 from 10 overs.
"Clarence, apart from a few older heads, are a young team and they did play well," Simmons said. "It's great to see the young kids getting a go.
"While we didn't field that well ? there's room for improvement ? it was a good all-round team performance."