Cudgen, Bears to clash in LJ Hooker League cricket final
CUDGEN and Ballina Bears will square off in the Far North Coast LJ Hooker League cricket one-day final after both teams finished the preliminary rounds with wins on Saturday.
Cudgen (7-250 cc) defeated Marist Brothers (180) at Oakes Oval, Lismore, while Bears (2-172) accounted for cross-town rivals Tintenbar-East Ballina (171) at Fripp Oval, Ballina.
The teams finished in the top two spots after the seven rounds of one-dayers, with the final to be played on Sunday, January 11.
The good wicket and fast outfield at Oakes Oval proved to the liking of the Cudgen batting line-up, with the hard-hitting Craig Wilson (71) top-scoring.
Young fast bowler Lachlan Ford took four wickets for Brothers, who never really looked like hauling in the big target when they batted.
In Ballina, Abe Crawford (72) and Luke Hamilton (54) were among the runs again for the 'Bar.
But with Lee Barnett (72 not out) and Justin Moore (71 not out) sharing an unbroken 130-run partnership, Bears chased down the runs with three overs to spare.
In other games on Saturday, an under-strength Alstonville (6-145) sneaked past Pottsville (143) at Hill Park Oval, Wollongbar, and the Casino Cavaliers (6-226 cc) continued their good form with a win over Lennox Head (164) at Queen Elizabeth Park, Casino.
Alstonville - without Greg Potter, Jason Caught and Mitchell Wilson - were struggling at 3-4 and then 4-18 in their run chase.
But Kristiaan Ezzy (63) and Steve Mison (41 not out) did enough to get the red-soilers across the line.
Earlier, spinners Steve Robb and part-timer Liam Smith each took three wickets.
At Casino, Trent Bennett followed up his century in the previous round with an innings of 90 for the Cavaliers and captain Sam Irvine continued his fine season with a contribution of 57 not out.
Tobyn Burvill (59) top-scored for Lennox Head but Wade Sweeney with three wickets and veteran Al Nowlan with a five-for ensured the home team claimed the points.
The Hooker League will resume on January 10 with the first day ofa round of two-day games.