COFFS Harbour inflicted Clarence River's first loss of the season in the final round of North Coast Inter-District Cricket at Ellem Oval yesterday.

The Country Shield champions looked to have made a strong start when openers Tim Tilse (69) and Matt Dougherty (54) built a solid platform with a 91-run opening stand for Clarence River to post 9 for 244 off its 50 overs.

"It's good batting with Matty because you know he's going to get off to a flyer if he gets in, so it gives me a bit more time to play myself in," Tilse said at the change of innings.

"We've got a pretty good total out here. Anything beyond 200 is pretty defendable and we know we've got the bowling attack that can do it."

However, a 166-run stand between Russ Gardner (85) and captain Damon Roots (65) highlighted Coffs Harbour's impressive chase.



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