THE Clarence River Cricket Association over-40s team had a resounding win over Nambucca Bellingen on Sunday and in the process earned itself a place in the final against Coffs Harbour, at Coffs Harbour in two weeks' time.
Despite taking almost career-best figures of 5/16, David Morgan just missed out on man of the match honours.
Vociferous voting from the Morgan camp could not tilt the honours his way as Paul Ensby's 51 not out and 3/27 presented a far more compelling case for the title.
The man affectionately known as 'Melon' deserves an honourable mention as he mesmerised his opponents with a variety of deliveries that only he is capable of delivering.
CRCA won the toss and batted first with Bruce Baxter showing plenty of enterprise, although failing to reach the boundary. His opening partner, Ensby, reached the compulsory retirement figure of 40 and together both openers got CRCA off to a solid start and the team was 2/82 after 20 overs.
Throughout the second part of their innings CRCA consistently lost wickets, but Bill Wynn batted steadily, eventually reaching the retirement score of 40.
Craig Woods blasted a quickfire 24 as CRCA took the game away from the visitors to reach 9/194 from its 40 overs.
Paul Mulvihill was aggressive at the start of the Nambucca innings, cracking 28 to give his team a solid start to an imposing run-chase.
Adam Maggs and Steve Wilks capitalised on this with a partnership approaching 100 and at 2/123, Nambucca looked in good shape.
Tony Blanch then bowled a superb spell of six tight overs of spin, conceding 17 runs and put the screws on the visitors.
With 10 overs remaining Nambucca required 72 runs for victory.
At this stage Morgan became unstoppable and swept the initiative away from the visitors with his devastating spell.
Baxter demonstrated that age has not wearied him with three smart stumpings and debutants Al Green and Woods had solid all-round games.
CRCA will be looking for repeat performances from its veteran members in the final against Coffs as the man who dishes out taps on the shoulder is always lurking.
- Scoreboard: P23.