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Coffs Harbour proves too strong in Under-16 decider

RUNNERS UP: The Clarence River side during presentations after the North Coast Inter-District Cricket grand final against Coffs Harbour in Sawtell.
RUNNERS UP: The Clarence River side during presentations after the North Coast Inter-District Cricket grand final against Coffs Harbour in Sawtell.

NORTH COAST CRICKET: Hopes of winning back to back titles were dashed when Clarence River succumbed to Coffs Harbour in North Coast Cricket Council's 2017/18 Inter-District Under-16 grand final played at Richardson Park in Sawtell on Sunday.

A dominant top order performance paved the way for Coffs Harbour. Harry McMillan (34) and Luke Neal (15) shared a 47-run opening stand before Ben Martin (27), Tyler Atkinson (18) and Will Bailey (31) consolidated the innings.

Clarence River's Ethan Lucas (3 for 25 off 9), Hayden Ensbey (2 for 23 off 10) and Hayden Woods (2 for 34 off 7) did well to restrict the hosts to all out for 179 in the 47th over.

However, the run chase did not go to plan with Coffs opening bowler Blake Austin wreaking havoc early with his inswing to have Clarence River reeling at 2 for 12.

Ensbey (37) attempted to resurrect the innings, but when he was adjudged caught behind during Austin's second spell with the score 5 for 66 he unwittingly started the talking point of the match.

Austin proceeded to bowl Xavier Hodgson (0) first ball before wrapping Ellynie Cameron (0) high on the pad on the hattrick ball, before the dreaded finger pointed skyward.

Austin finished with deserved figures of 6 for 12 off 6 overs as Clarence River was bowled out for 74.

Coffs Harbour were minor premiers after winning all three rounds matches.