Alstonville top-order batsman Mitchell Pickford has been a welcome addition in the second half of the FNC LJ Hooker League cricket season. Photo Ursula Bentley@CapturedAus
Alstonville top-order batsman Mitchell Pickford has been a welcome addition in the second half of the FNC LJ Hooker League cricket season. Photo Ursula Bentley@CapturedAus

Key combination aims to lift Alstonville cricket team

RETURNING batsmen Kristiaan Ezzy and Mitchell Pickford will finish the season with Alstonville in Far North Coast LJ Hooker League cricket.

Both came home from Brisbane for the Twenty20 rounds and were the teams leading run-scorers throughout the competition.

Pickford is a former captain with the pair now aiming to help Alstonville to a semi-final spot in the two-day competition.

"They're very good to have around, they bring a lot of energy when they're together," captain Kyle Yager said.

"This is probably our strongest side and it's up to us where we go from here.

"We have plenty of batsman who score runs; we just need to make it happen.

"If we want to make the finals we have to win this game."

Alstonville is currently fourth on the ladder and host competition leaders Cudgen at Hill Park Oval, Wollongbar this weekend.

It will be a tough assignment with the defending premiers hitting form in recent weeks.

However, Alstonville has surprised Cudgen in the past, breaking a 15-year premiership drought in an upset win in the 2016-2017 final.

Alstonville did not win a game last season but they have been big improvers with top-order batsman Steve Mison and Greg Potter back in the fold.

Returning all-rounders Terry Murphy and Steve Robb have also taken 50 wickets between them.

Yager said coming off a tough year has helped shape the likes of younger players Fergus Campey and Tim Irwin this season.

"I think everyone who played last year still enjoyed it and we took a positive attitude into this season," Yager said.

"Some other guys coming back have strengthened the team and we're focused on finishing the season well."

In other games this weekend, Lismore Workers host Tintenbar-East Ballina at Oakes Oval.

Marist Brothers take on Pottsville at Nielson Park, East Lismore.

Lennox Head plays the Casino RSM Cavaliers at Megan Crescent Oval, Lennox Head.

 

LADDER

Cudgen 36

Pottsville 33

Lismore Workers 33

Alstonville 31

Lennox Head 29

Casino RSM Cavaliers 27

Marist Brothers 27

Tintenbar-East Ballina 15

Murwillumbah 5