CRCA CRICKET: On the back of a triumphant effort from pace bowler Adam Elliott, Coutts Crossing clawed its way to a blistering 234-run first innings victory in the GDSC Premier League round one match against GDSC Easts at McKittrick Park.
Coutts Crossing was at sixes and sevens to begin the day's play with at least four players from last weekend's first innings of 311 missing from the fielding side.
But if the day started off troublesome for the side, it only got worse before the first break of the day.
Strike bowler Zac Page (1 for 8 off 7 overs) succumbed to an elbow injury that has plagued the pace bowler in recent seasons while fiery Coffs Coast quick bowler Taj Dosanjh (0 for 6 off 5.1) followed him to the medico bench with a pectoral problem.
With his strike bowling attack falling to injury, captain Luke Cox was forced to continue throwing the cherry to Elliott who was not shying away from the increased workload.
It was a foolproof plan for the Coutts captain as Elliott (5 for 23 off 16.5) ran through the belly of the GDSC Easts batting line-up to produce the first five-wicket haul of his Premier League career.
While the paceman said he felt confident getting through the overs on the day, the increased workload definitely took its toll the next day.
"I can really feel it now," Elliott said. "We were just really short on numbers and (captain) Coxy just kept throwing me the ball asking if I was good for another.
"I felt really good the whole day. There is something a little bit different this year and the ball is just coming out of the hand really nicely."
After bowling almost half of his side's overs in the first innings, Elliott finished with a five-for as the GDSC Easts side were bowled out halfway through the afternoon for 77.
With half the afternoon left, Coutts captain Luke Cox put Easts back into bat chasing the outright victory and once again the ball was thrown to Elliott to kick off proceedings.
Elliott's wife Stephanie was also called up into the squad despite not having played cricket since her junior days and showed her wares in the field and with ball in hand, bowling four overs for 15 runs.
"It was great to have Steph out there," Elliott said. "She got a couple of overs in the second innings, she had a couple of beamers in there but otherwise she went well.
"She fielded really well. I swear she has a better arm than half of the other blokes in the side. With all the injuries at the moment, it looks like she might get another run next week."
A valiant knock of 79 not out from GDSC Easts captain Ben Hill, including a 102-run stand with club junior Jackson Grieve (44), staved off the Coutts bowlers from securing an outright victory.
"Benny is just one of those batsmen you need to get out early," Elliott said. "Once he gets his eye in, he will be set all afternoon."
Coutts will need to refocus now for Westlawn next weekend while GDSC Easts will meet Brothers at Ellem Oval.
COUTTS CROSSING V GDSC EASTS
At McKittrick Park
Coutts Crossing 1st Innings 311
GDSC Easts 1st Innings
B Hill lbw b Page 2
BJ Shaw c SIMPSON b Elliott 0
B Palmer c R Cotten b Elliott 8
P Slattery run out (I Simpson) 6
T Cropp c & b B Cotten 11
JR Grieve c Cox b Elliott 2
J Ellis c Cox b Elliott 8
B Knight c & b B Cotten 6
A Latham not out 19
N Harris c Dosanjh b Elliott 9
B Johnson c Tilse b B Cotten 0
Extras (b 2, lb 4, w 0, nb 0) 6
TOTAL 77 Overs: 36
FoW: 1-2(B Hill) 2-2(BJ Shaw) 3-16(B Palmer) 4-19(P Slattery) 5-25(JR Grieve) 6-36(T Cropp) 7-46(B Knight) 8-50(J Ellis) 9-60(N Harris) 10-77(B Johnson)
Bowling: Z Page 7-4-8-1, AB Elliott 16.5-7-23-5, T Dosanjh 5.1-2-6-0, B Cotten 7-2-34-3
GDSC Easts 2nd Innings
A Latham lbw b Elliott 13
B Palmer retired hurt 1
T Cropp c Tilse b Page 10
B Hill not out 79
JR Grieve c Elliott b? 44
P Slattery not out 2
Extras (b 4, lb 0, w 0, nb 3) 7
THREE wickets for 156
FoW: 1-16(A Latham) 2-30(T Cropp) 3-132(JR Grieve)
Bowling: AB Elliott 7-0-24-1, Z Page 5-0-24-1, I Simpson 5-1-16-0, B Cotten 4-1-12-0, R Cotten 6-1-27-0, L Cox 3-1-10-0, S Elliott 4-1-15-0, J Boffey 3-0-24-1.
COUTTS CROSSING win first innings by 234-runs