LCCA CRICKET: Iluka clinches nail-biter at the death
MBC 1ST GRADE: With Harwood needing three runs to win from the final ball, but Iluka held on in thrilling fashion to sink their Lower Clarence opponents on Saturday.
Electing to bat first on their home ground, Iluka's openers started with a solid 36-run partnership with Gary Ryan (26) setting the tempo. Several others made starts but a steady flow of wickets saw Iluka all out for 126.
Iluka captain Zac Newton was pleased with his side's performance at the crease.
"The top order all got 20-odd which is good to see,” Newton said. "We also had 'big show' Corey Kempshall (14) back which is a handy addition to the squad.
"We got off to good start but crumbled a bit at the bottom and didn't manage too big a score in the end.”
Harwood gave chase but Iluka hit them hard early on, removing their top three for single figures before Matt Young (19) and Evan Lewis (25) dug in the claws to edge closer to the total.
Newton said his side was much more convincing with the ball and held strong against an experienced Harwood lineup.
"We bowled really well. That's what won us the game,” he said. "It was a good deck and they were doing well with 50-odd at drinks.”
But Dean Bartlett (3 for 18 off 8) along with Newton (2 for 24 off 8) and returning man Kempshall (2 for 18 off 8) frustrated their opposition with some clinical bowling, sending the game down to the wire.
"They needed three off the last ball but they got a single and Keith Richards ran them out,” he said.
"It was stressful so hopefully we don't have too many ending that close for the rest of the year.”
Harwood was victorious on the side's last visit to Iluka but Newton was glad his side made sure of the win this time.
"It was good to get them, we should have beaten them last time. We didn't drop any catches which has hurt us in past games so it was good to get the efficiency there,” he said.
"That puts us in equal second before we play Yamba next week. Hopefully we can keep picking up momentum as we go.”
Yamba travelled to Maclean United for a tough match-up on Saturday and despite a solid bowling display to hold the competition leaders to 9 for 176, they fell short getting all out for 139.
Maclean captain Jarrad Moran (52) put in another solid shift at the crease to keep his side firmly placed at the top of the table after six rounds.