Sawtell opener Ricky Welsh puts another delivery safely out of reach of the field as he smashes his way to a stylish 93-run innings against Diggers.
Sawtell opener Ricky Welsh puts another delivery safely out of reach of the field as he smashes his way to a stylish 93-run innings against Diggers. Rob Wright

Sawtell bat through heatwave to leave competitor's uneasy

WE'RE only three matches into the 2013-14 summer of cricket and already Sawtell's batting feats are sending shivers down the spines of rivals.

They were at it again in the visit to Fitzroy Oval to take on grand final conquerors Plantation Diggers.

Sawtell's batsmen feasted on runs.

Opener Ricky Welsh went within seven runs of a century to lead the way.

Trent Mitchell was first man out after compiling a handy 37 and while Trent Dierick and Tyh Murphy went without scoring, strong partnerships with middle order men Ben Andrews and Brendan Foote must have had the premiers groaning.

Again, the tail-enders gave the best indication of things to come with the last four men at the crease going close to adding another hundred to the final total of 304.

For Diggers, Joe Willman toiled through 19 overs in a lake of perspiration to take 4/99.

Diggers had 2/62 by stumps after Ben Andrews struck early to take the prized wicket of Alex Byrne.

In the match at Rowe Oval, Bellinger Valley skipper Justin Gilbert went through Park Beach Bowling Club Colts like a dose of salts to have the visitors all out for 142 despite remaining in the middle for 51 overs.

The contrast to the coastal match is startling with Sawtell batting just eight overs longer for more than double Colts' scoring rate.

Gilbert was on fire with figures of 5/31 conjured up in just 11 overs while Julian Hulbert was a vital cog in the machinery, dragging in four catches.

But here comes the tough bit.

At last call, the home side was making heavy weather at 3/26 with only Mick Gilroy's 13 getting to double figures.

Zac Symons took two wickets and Josh Innes the other.

The Bello boys do have something in the locker with Captain Gilbert still to bat.

Across all grades, top batsman of the weekend was Coffs Tigers fourth-grader Andrew McDonald who blazed away for 105 against Diggers, one more than Dorrigo's Jamie Ballard against Colts in third grade.

Woolgoolga's Nic Dosanjh took 6/34 in second grade against Nana Glen.

Ben Watson (Coffs Tigers fourth) and Jamie Newling (Sawtell fourth) each bagged five scalps.

Headlines