ON A ROLL: GDSC Easts seamer Shannon Connor was devastating with the ball, claiming nine wickets against Coutts Crossing.
ON A ROLL: GDSC Easts seamer Shannon Connor was devastating with the ball, claiming nine wickets against Coutts Crossing. Bill North

Connor proves point as he tears through Coutts

CRICKET: If GDSC Easts seamer Shannon Connor had a point to make after missing out on selection for the Grafton Toyota Cotten Shield clash, he more than made it against Coutts Crossing.

The club's leading bowler was undeniable at JJ Lawrence Field as he took nine wickets in a day to leave Coutts scrambling to save an outright loss.

Utilising all the gremlins in an unforgiving surface, Connor (6 for 25 off 13 and 3 for 4 off 5) had the ball moving both ways as he finished with a first innings five-wicket-haul and did early damage after a late afternoon declaration from captain Sam John.

After Bill North (7) and Andrew McLachlan (29) managed to weather the early attack, the pair put on 29 runs for the second wicket but North's dismissal brought about a Coutts Crossing collapse.

Coutts went from 1-46 to all-out for 77, including a disastrous mid-innings collapse of 5-15 thanks to Connor.

"He could have had 10 wickets (on Saturday), I really don't think he bowled a bad ball at all,” John said. "He was swinging them both ways and getting them to seam around as well.

"The pitch wasn't the best out there, there was a lot of variable bounce in it, and Shannon just exploited that.”

Needing 78 to secure first innings points, John sent his top order out there with a mission to hit out.

But it appeared they would suffer a similar fate to the opposition after returning seamer Joel Gossen (2 for 19 off 8) was on a hat-trick in the opening over.

Gossen and Ryan Cotten (2 for 18 off 9) worked well in tandem opening the bowling, but a mid-innings partnership between John (18) and Easts veteran Garry Connor (36) helped right the ship.

"It was a typical Easts collapse for a bit, but then we had a couple of good little partnerships in there before Garry came into his own,” John said.

"In those few overs he got us over the line and gave us a chance to declare in the afternoon and get as many overs at Coutts as possible.”

John took his batsmen from the field when the side got to 6-100, going into a last hour assault with a 23-run lead.

It would prove a masterstroke as Connor took three quick wickets to have Coutts floundering at 4-20 at stumps.

"We could have had five in that session, but I guess you can't really complain with four,” he said. "We set ourselves a goal of taking three wickets and (Brendan Palmer) managed to sneak another one for us. It was a credit to the bowlers.

"I am definitely proud of Shannon, I think he has a lot to prove after not getting picked in that Clarence River side. I think he was very unlucky not to get picked in that representative side, just look at the amount of overs he bowls for us for his economy and his average. No one else does what he can do around here.

"I think he proved selectors wrong today, and I am definitely looking forward to watching him prove them wrong through the finals series.”

GDSC EASTS V COUTTS CROSSING GRAFTON HOTEL

At JJ Lawrence Turf

Toss: Coutts Crossing

Umpires: Paul Ensby

Coutts Crossing 1st Innings

A McLachlan c Harrison b S Connor 29

B Rankin lbw b Cameron 11

B North lbw b S Connor 7

R Cotten c Martin b S Connor 0

B Cotten c Gillett b Harrison 0

MR McKee b S Connor 2

N O'Connell c John b S Connor 13

M Elkerton b Harrison 2

J Gossen b Harrison 4

D Ensby not out 1

H Woods lbw b S Connor 0

Extras (b 4, lb 3, w 1, nb 0) 8

ALL-OUT for 77

Overs: 25

FoW: 1-17(B Rankin) 2-46(B North) 3-46(R Cotten) 4-51(A McLachlan) 5-51(B Cotten) 6-61(MR McKee) 7-72(M Elkerton) 8-72(N O'Connell) 9-76(J Gossen) 10-77(H Woods)

Bowling: S Connor 13-6-25-6, H Cameron 5-1-15-1(1w), SJ John 1-0-16-0, J Harrison 6-2-14-3

GDSC Easts 1st Innings

S Connor c Ensby b Gossen 0

B Knight b R Cotten 5

J Martin b Gossen 0

H Cameron c McLachlan b R Cotten 16

SJ John c Gossen b Ensby 18

G Connor not out 36

A Tredinnich c B Cotten b Ensby 0

J Harrison not out 11

Extras (b 9, lb 3, w 2, nb 0) 14

SIX wickets (dec) for 100

Overs: 27.3

FoW: 1-0(S Connor) 2-0(J Martin) 3-12(B Knight) 4-31(H Cameron) 5-60(SJ John) 6-71(A Tredinnich)

Bowling: J Gossen 8.1-2-19-2, R Cotten 9.1-2-18-2, A McLachlan 3-0-25-0(1w), D Ensby 4.3-1-12-2(1w), H Woods 3-0-14-0

Coutts Crossing 2nd Innings

B Cotten c John b S Connor 0

B Rankin lbw b Palmer 7

B North b S Connor 2

M Elkerton lbw b S Connor 0

A McLachlan not out 3

N O'Connell not out 8

FOUR wickets for 20

Overs: 10

FoW: 1-0(B Cotten) 2-4(B North) 3-8(M Elkerton) 4-12(B Rankin)

Bowling: S Connor 5-3-4-3, R Gillett 4-1-8-0, B Palmer 1-0-8-1