TURNING THE TIDE: Clarence River tweaker Andy Kinnane was one of the few highlights for the side out of their Country Cup clash with Tweed at Seabreeze Oval. The offspinner took his maiden representative five wicket haul.
TURNING THE TIDE: Clarence River tweaker Andy Kinnane was one of the few highlights for the side out of their Country Cup clash with Tweed at Seabreeze Oval. The offspinner took his maiden representative five wicket haul. Debrah Novak

Clarence River stinging from embarrassing Country Cup defeat

COUNTRY CRICKET: "Disgraceful and embarrassing."

Those were the words used by Clarence River opener and association president Tom Kroehnert after he watched seven wickets fall from the non-striker's end as a red hot Tweed attack skittled the Clarence side for 24.

The McDonalds Country Cup third round clash was well and truly in the balance during the innings break at Seabreeze Oval in Pottsville after Clarence stifled Tweed from 2-100 after 20 overs to all out for 168 after 48.

"The one positive out of this clash is that our bowlers really stood up and should be congratulated," Kroehnert said.

"They bowled a good side out on a good wicket for a score that at one stage looked like it was getting away from us."

Former Australian Under 19 representative Brad Chard (0-18 off 10) bowled tight lines choking the Tweed scoring despite free flowing runs coming at the other end.

While Jack Weatherstone (2-25 off 10) and Jake Kroehnert (1-35 off 10) also managed to restrict the scoring, it was Brothers tweaker Andy Kinnane who lifted the match ball taking his best representative figures of 5-33 off 10.

Taking a five wicket haul should be cause for celebration for any bowler, but a devastated Kinnane was in no mood to cheer.

"I honestly don't know what to feel about it," he said. "It doesn't really matter what I did, it was only ever about what the team could do and we didn't get there."

It was a gutsy bowling performance from the young spinner who was not afraid to give the ball flight against a bullying batting line-up.

"There was one bloke who kept charging, so I threw him a few flatter ones, pushed him back in his crease and then flighted it up, enticed him in and got him caught on the boundary," Kinnane said.

The off-spinner had a few caught in the deep, one bowled and a confusing stumping chance that everyone was sure was out plumb in front.

"We were too busy appealing for the leg before that we didn't even realise he was stumped out of his crease," he said.

"Jase whipped the bails off mid-appeal and the square leg umpire raised the finger.

"We were cheering coming off the field, everyone had done their bit with the ball and the fielders had really put in the effort to back us up. But then 'it' happened."

From the first ball of their batting innings it was panic stations for the Clarence River side with opening batsman Billy Kerr falling for a golden duck spooning the ball back to the bowler.

It was downhill from there as no batsman made it to double figures and five fell for duck eggs. It was catching practice in the slips for Tweed as the Clarence batsmen were done by the pace of the bowling.

While he praised the effort of the Tweed bowlers, Kroehnert said it was an embarrassing performance by the Clarence batsmen.

"The true words to describe it are disgraceful and embarrassing," he said.

"Bowled out in 18 overs for a First XI representative side, I don't think you could describe it any other way.

"They had a decent bowling attack, but I would like to think we have a pretty decent batting line-up. We had plenty of fellas who can swing a bat and score some runs."

The loss stings twice as much for the president as the Clarence River Cricket Association is set to host the finals of the knockout competition at the end of December.

"Me personally, I am still cranky with how we played out there," he said.

"It is definitely disappointing to be knocked out of the competition that we have to host the finals of.

"Despite missing out on the finals there will still be some high class cricket played on our fields come December. On the plus side these 11 blokes can now watch those finals clashes from the sidelines. But I know I would rather be playing in them."

The representative side's focus will now shift to the North Coast Cricket Council Inter District competition withy an upcoming final round clash against Coffs Harbour at Ulmarra Showground on December 4.

While representative selectors have not confirmed if there will be changes made to the side for the Inter District clash they will have their eyes on local Premier League action as players have the chance to impress and earn their spot

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