CRCA no match for Coffs
By MITCHELL DALE, of The Coffs Coast Advocate
SAWTELL'S big-hitting skipper Todd Gill broke his bat and the hearts of the Clarence River Cricket Association (CRCA) first XI at International Stadium on Sunday, slamming a rapid-fire 80 to guide Coffs Harbour to its third straight interdistrict competition victory.
Coffs Harbour's bowlers made light work of CRCA's batting line-up, containing the visitors to 9-162 in 50 overs, with Diggers' Brad Guthrie (4-25 from 10 overs) the chief destroyer.
Then it was Coffs Harbour's batting line-up's turn to shine, with Gill leading the way.
Coffs Harbour had few difficulties with the bat, sealing the win inside 34 overs with four wickets to spare, lending weight to captain Andrew Mainey's prematch assessment that CRCA lacked bowling firepower.
With Gill and Sawtell teammate Jason Hughes (29) in control, Coffs cruised to 3-143 before Gill's dismissal triggered a mini-collapse of 3-15.
It was left to Mainey to deliver the knock-out blow, with the skipper blasting a six over mid-wicket that eventually came back to earth in the International Stadium car park.
Gill slammed six sixes and five boundaries in his knock and later agreed with Mainey's appraisal of CRCA's bowling attack.
"There wasn't too much not to like about it (CRCA's bowling attack)," Gill said.
Gill had to play most of his innings with a borrowed bat after ending the life of his own blade early in his knock.
CRCA captain Andrew Firth described his side's performance as 'dismal'.
"We won the toss and batted but we shot ourselves in the foot ? too many silly shots," Firth said.
"We still haven't batted 50 overs all year."
Tom Kroehnert top scored for the local side with 28, Mark Robinson scored 24 and Jason Rainbow 20.
Nathan Blanch was best of the CRCA bowlers with 3-29 from 5.5 overs. John Holmes and Firth were the other wicket takers.
Firth said he and Westlawn captain Tony Blanch had a good chat to the young team after the game.
"Tony was really good. He told the boys to hold their heads up high and commended them," Firth said.
"We're in a rebuilding phase this year. There's a lot of new faces.
"To make the final was a great effort from everyone who has contributed."