GOT HIM: Andy Kinnane loses his off-peg as Nambucca bowls Clarence River out for 129 during the North Coast Cricket Council first grade inter-district clash. INSET TOP: Nambucca 16-year-old Luka Grace was the pick of the bowlers. INSET BOTTOM: Young Dom Beaumont bowled tight at the end of the Clarence River innings.
GOT HIM: Andy Kinnane loses his off-peg as Nambucca bowls Clarence River out for 129 during the North Coast Cricket Council first grade inter-district clash. INSET TOP: Nambucca 16-year-old Luka Grace was the pick of the bowlers. INSET BOTTOM: Young Dom Beaumont bowled tight at the end of the Clarence River innings. Matthew Elkerton

Dropped catches cost Clarence at home

REP CRICKET: The age-old adage "catches win matches” could not have been more applicable than Sunday afternoon when Clarence River fell at the hands of Nambucca Valley.

Three dropped chances in the field cost Clarence River dearly as Nambucca middle order batsmen Jack Ireland went on to hit 71 not out as the visitors cruised to a six-wicket victory in the 33rd over.

For Clarence River captain Jake Kroehnert, who dropped the first of three edges that flew to the slip cordon off quick Nathan Blanch, it was a tough way to go down.

"I dropped one at the start of Pidge's second spell which would have made them five down and exposed their tail,” Kroehnert said. "With Pidge having four overs left at that point, that really could have been the match.

"I saw it the whole way, it went in and went out. Pretty straightforward slips effort and it shouldn't have been dropped.

"It is not an ideal start to the representative season, we tried our best but we couldn't get a result which is unfortunate. It sort of puts us out of the hunt for finals now, unless a few things really go our way.”

The side's effort with the bat was not much better as it limped to a total of 129 off 32 overs.

Several batsmen made starts to their innings but none went on with the job as a red hot Nambucca Valley attack took full advantage of a forgiving Ellem Oval deck.

"The wicket was a bit tricky, but it one of those pitches where if it moved, it moved a bit too much and missed the edge,” Kroehnert said.

"(Billy) Kerr and myself, even Jimmy Watters in the top five, we all got starts and just couldn't go on with it. You need to turn those 20s into an 80 or 100 to help put on a competitive total.

"They bowled really well and all credit to their young blokes, but I think early in the piece we were batting better than they were bowling, but wickets were still falling. We just played bad shots, got ourselves out and we need to wear that.”

It was a tough week for Clarence River, with the side's line-up changing four times within seven days of the clash. The team lost boom rookie Jacob Ellis on the Friday before the clash after he pulled up with a back injury.

"It is annoying not having the stability,” Kroehnert said. "You have players there that are willing to play every week, but there is better players, but when they are pulling out two or three days before it becomes a problem.

"If representative cricket is not a priority, then you shouldn't be putting the hand up for it in the first place.”



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