Six of the best at Maclean
MORE than 110 cricketers from the Lower Clarence Cricket Association gathered at Wherrett Park in Maclean on Saturday to celebrate the 2004-05 Clarence River Fishermen's Co-op Sixes.
An astonishing 106 sixes were hit during the 23 matches, including eleven 10s (straight hits between long on and long off), with more than 2500 runs scored during 23 matches and six hours of cricket.
In addition, 127 fours were hit.
Even the umpires finished the day well contented, having dispatched some 128 batters between them in one afternoon, and not a video replay in sight.
After 23 fixtures during the afternoon, a triumphant Matt Ardrey held the Fishermen's Co-op Sixes Cup above his Yamba CC Muddies outfit of Mick Strange, Braden Dinham, Dan Kirk, Phil Kelly, Mark Vallete and Rob Becker.
In an absorbing final on Barrie Watt Oval, which started at 6.20pm, the Muddies batted first against a top flight United CC-based Mangrove Jacks side.
Strange began in very aggressive fashion with a six, but was caught soon after on the boundary by Nick Clarke.
Braden Dinham joined Ardrey and put on a handy partnership, being undefeated on 22 at the end of the 30 ball Yamba innings.
The Yamba streak Dan Kirk was out lbw for 2 and it was left to Phil Kelly to take four off the last ball to tally 61. With bowlers of the calibre of Essex, Smidt, Clarke and Luke Many runs were never going to be easy to come by.
During the innings the crowd witnessed possibly the slowest double ever as an exhausted Ardrey, having played three matches in quick succession, finally docked for a two to long on with the bowler Luke Many fielding.
In reply, the task looked ominous for Yamba with LCCA representative first grade skipper Darrell Simmons, Luke Many, Michael Essex and skipper Nick Clarke as the top line batters.
When Many was dismissed off the last ball of the first over by Vallette for 10 and then Darrell Simmons was bowled next ball by Mick Strange the pendulum moved slightly towards the Muddies.
To this point, Many was the tournament's most dangerous batsmen, with nine sixes and three 10s. Michael Essex, though, had other ideas and with 23 off seven deliveries including three sixes, the Mangrove Jacks were back in the game.
Two wickets in Phil Kelly's over left the Mangrove Jacks to score a six or 10 off the final delivery. It was not to be ? a great final over finish with a result pending on the final ball.
At the presentation, LCCA president Kevin Styles said the association was indebted to the Clarence River Fishermen's Co-op for its support over a number of years.
"Their assistance underpins our cricket for juniors, seniors and interdistrict,' Styles said. "I hope the co-op views the Sixes Tournament as their own special event in our cricket calendar ? a way of saying thank you to them."
Luke Many was the tournament's most dangerous batter with nine sixes and three 10s and he also returned the best figures of 3 for 2.
"There are not many occasions when all the clubs in the association come together in one place at the same time ? it has been a great day for some fun cricket," Styles said.
"It is essential for the continuing development of cricket in the district that our membership see themselves, and importantly the community see us, not only as proud and hardworking club members, but also as part of a strong, growing, and progres- sive association."