CLARENCE River rep cricket side was not able to reproduce its winning form from the Country Cup and went down in a hard-fought battle against Coffs Harbour in the North Coast Inter-District Cricket final yesterday.
The Coffs Harbour side got off to a blinding start with the bat after opener Mathew Riddoch hit a quick fire 45 off 32 balls to start the innings. His performance was backed up well by Tye Murphy who scored a handy half century for the Coffs side.
A mid-innings fight back by Clarence River bowlers Matt Pigg (4-39) and Nathan Blanch (3-43) saw the Coffs side struggling at eight wickets down for 161.
However a dogged performance from lower order batsmen Pat Myles (35 no) and Matt Rose (33 no) put together a ninth-wicket partnership of 76 runs to see the Coffs Harbour side to eight wickets for 237 runs at the end of their allotted 50 overs.
The Clarence River team, chasing 238 runs for victory, got off to a handy start with the opening pair putting on around 20 runs before the fall of the first wicket.
However, disciplined and attacking bowling from the Coffs Harbour side saw the Clarence River team dismantled and were bowled out for 107, 131 runs shy of the winning target.
Best bowler Matt Pigg also top-scored for the Clarence River side with 24 not out, however he was disappointed with his team's performance.
"We did it tough out in the middle with the bat," Pigg said. "Their bowlers were really on point. I was happy with the way I struck the ball but I'm not real happy with the fact that I top scored with 24.
"We're a far better side than that and we have proven that before it's just today wasn't our day."
For the Coffs Harbour side, Josh Bartlett (3-14) and Brad Miller (3-37) were the pick of the bowlers and shared in the spoils along with John Lovett (2-14).
Clarence River captain Bob McKenzie said the day was very up and down for the Clarence River side and it was tough day in the end.
"It was an up and down day," McKenzie said. "I thought we did well to restrict them to 237 after they got off to flying start."
"We had a loss today and it was tough one. We just couldn't get any partnerships together. We needed a good 100 run or 80 run partnership but it just wasn't happening for the boys out in the middle.
"They played really well. We obviously could have played better and we know that, but unfortunately that's just how cricket goes sometimes."
"I think rep cricket is a great thing; it gets all the good players together," he said. "People can learn things from other players that you don't get to learn from guys in your own club. Even though we're opponents on a week to week basis, were truly friends when it comes down to it."
The Daily Examiner's own Sports Editor Bill North played for the Clarence River side however it wasn't a day to remember for Northy.
When bowling North was carted to all corners of the ground and was hooked after two overs with figures of no wickets for 24 runs. With the bat it was a little better as he scored the side's third-highest total of 14.