Fans robbed after lights go out
NIGHT CRICKET: A freak thunderstorm on Wednesday night robbed cricket fans of what was poised to be a thrilling finish in the Cleavers Mechanical Night Cricket clash between Inspirations Paints Coutts Crossing and South Services.
South Services required a further 24 runs for victory off the final three overs before an electrical surge sent McKittrick Park into darkness.
With the impending storm about to take hold, it was decided to abandon the match with regard to player safety.
It was a disheartening result for Coutts Crossing captain Andrew McLachlan who felt his side was right in the clash after it posted a total of 7-121 off 20 overs.
McLachlan (28) and Eli Fahey (40) set the side up for a big total with a 60-run opening stand before the introduction of off-spinner Brad Scott (2 for 26 off 4) wreaked havoc.
Scott had both openers stumped by Luke Sullivan as he took full advantage of a slow, turning McKittrick Park deck.
Dylan Cleaver (3 for 25 off 4) helped dismantle the Coutts middle order as the side lost 5-30 in a late innings collapse.
With South Services needing more than a run-a-ball, McLachlan turned to experienced seamer Zac Page (2 for 11 off 4) to open the bowling with Page picking up both Services openers, Tom Kroehnert (13) and Dylan Cleaver (10) in the same over. Top-order batsmen Jacob Ellis (20) and Rowan Green (38) managed to get the run chase back on track with a dominant 57-run third wicket stand before the pair were removed in quick succession by Ryan Cotten (1 for 6 off 1) and Matt McKee (1 for 4 off 1).
But it was to no avail for Coutts Crossing with the lights going out soon after and taking the players from the field.
It was the third time this season the side had been foiled by the weather and put an end to its hopes of playing in finals.
"It is a real shame, it's almost a return of the Coutts Curse from when we couldn't win the competition,” McLachlan said. "It would have been very interesting to watch those last three overs, but unfortunately there is nothing we can do.”
With the drawn result, South Services remain undefeated at the top of the night cricket ladder four points clear of Tucabia-Copmanhurst Clarence Valley Pest Control.
The two top sides will meet in the final round on February 27.
CLEAVERS NIGHT COMPETITION
SOUTH SERVICES V COUTTS CROSSING
At McKittrick Park
Toss: Coutts Crossing
Coutts Crossing 1st Innings
A McLachlan st Sullivan b Scott 28
E Fahey st Sullivan b Scott 40
R Cotten c Peady b Green 18
C Woods c Harris b Cleaver 16
MR McKee c Rainbow b Cleaver 6
B Cotten c & b Harris 2
N O'Connell not out 3
M Elkerton c & b Cleaver 0
R Williamson not out 1
Extras (b 2, lb 0, w 5, nb 0) 7
SEVEN wickets for 121
FoW: 1-60(A McLachlan) 2-88(E Fahey) 3-90(R Cotten) 4-112(MR McKee) 5-114(C Woods) 6-116(B Cotten) 7-120(M Elkerton)
Bowling: L Harris 4-0-13-1, J Amos 4-0-30-0, DW Cleaver 4-0-25-3, BG Scott 4-0-26-2, J Peady 2-0-16-0, R Green 2-0-9-1
South Services 1st Innings
T Kroehnert c Fahey b Page 13
DW Cleaver c Williamson b Page 10
J Ellis st Williamson b McKee 20
R Green b R Cotten 38
LJ Sullivan not out 5
J Rainbow not out 5
Extras (b 0, lb 0, w 5, nb 2) 7
FOUR wickets for 98
FoW: 1-26(DW Cleaver) 2-26(T Kroehnert) 3-83(J Ellis) 4-90(R Green)
Bowling: M Elkerton 2-0-7-0, Z Page 4-2-11-2(1w), H Woods 2-0-17-0(1nb), A McLachlan 2-0-17-0, B Cotten 3-0-25-0(1nb), N O'Connell 1-0-6-0, MR McKee 1-0-4-1(3w), R Cotten 1-0-6-1, E Fahey 0.5-0-5-0