Bears bowler chalks up a win for first wedding anniversary
BALLINA Bears opening bowler Ben Collins celebrated his first wedding anniversary in style with a five-wicket haul against Cudgen in the Far North Coast LJ Hooker League semi-final.
It was 12 months to the day that the Bears were skittled out of the 2012-2013 semi-final after a hat-trick in the first session proved too much to come back from.
Collins, 28, originally from England, was married on the FNC last year on the semi-final weekend.
He had previously played two seasons with Ballina before moving back permanently this season.
He finished the game with a total of seven wickets as the Bears cruised to an outright win.
"It was definitely a great weekend with the win and wedding anniversary," Collins said.
"I didn't want to celebrate our first anniversary with a loss.
"I was lucky enough to have a pretty good spell (with the ball) and it couldn't have come off any better."
Collins started the season strong with a five-wicket haul against Terranora Lakes in the first game in October.
He has now taken 27-wickets and will be full of confidence in his first final with the Bears when they take on Lennox Head this weekend.
"I feel like I've been bowling pretty well since Christmas," Collins said.
"I've never felt more driven and I hope I cam pay the club back for giving me a start."
Collins came to Ballina after meeting former Bears captain Toby Hordern in England.
He played club cricket with Bears all-rounder James Thorpe, one of the top performers in the competition this season.
The final will be played over two days at Megan Crescent Oval, Lennox Head this weekend.