SIGHTS SET: Brad Chard and Chris Adamson high five after taking all  10 wickets for Tucabia-Copmanhurst. The pair has taken 64 between them (37 and 27) as the GDSC Premier League's two leading wicket takers in 2017/18.
SIGHTS SET: Brad Chard and Chris Adamson high five after taking all 10 wickets for Tucabia-Copmanhurst. The pair has taken 64 between them (37 and 27) as the GDSC Premier League's two leading wicket takers in 2017/18. Adam Hourigan

HIGH FIVE: Chard, Adamson share spoils as top spot looms

CRCA CRICKET: GI Hotel Tucabia-Copmanhurst has its sights firmly set on the GDSC Premier League minor premiership and seemingly only the weather can now stand in its way.

The second-placed side has Grafton Hotel Coutts Crossing on the ropes at 2 for 30 in its second innings and still trailing by 14 runs.

An outright victory in the last round would take them ahead of Harwood Hilton Hotel for top spot - a feat almost inconceivable prior to the side's outright victory against Jacaranda Hotel Westlawn in the previous round.

Tucabia-Copmanhurst was the last team to unseat Harwood for the minor premiership in 2013/14. However, its last major premiership was in 2012/13.

Events leading into round 14 conspired nicely for Tucabia, as the other two Premier League fixtures abandoned play for the day because of the wet conditions, taking potential outright results elsewhere out of the picture.

Captain Brad Chard (5 for 35 off 13) ticked every box, from long before the coin was tossed at Lower Fisher Park. As the nominated home team, Chard had his teammates watched the skies carefully to ensure the pitch was covered at the appropriate times for play to be suitable come 1pm Saturday.

Meanwhile, as the away teams for their respective matches, Harwood (vs GDSC Easts at Ellem Oval) and Clocktower Hotel Brothers (vs South Services at McKittrick Park) could only sit and hope.

Chard duly won the toss and sent Coutts in on what was always going to play as a challenging wicket.

He then took the prized wicket of former teammate and last round centurion Tim Tilse (2) in the first over to set the tone for the afternoon.

 

Chris Adamson took five wickets for Tucabia against Coutts
ON SONG: Chris Adamson took 5 for 33 off 12.1 overs for Tucabia-Copmanhurst in the first innings against Coutts Crossing at Lower Fisher Park. Adam Hourigan

At the other end Chris Adamson (5 for 33 off 12.1) also relished the conditions, the pair each taking five wickets as they bowled unchanged to tear through the Coutts batting order for 71. Only Riley Cropper (24) - who was a late call-up for a no-show - reached double figures in a 31-run last wicket resistance with Hayden Woods (7no).

Tucabia then made light work of the first innings total, highlighted by Blake Ryan (48) who fell agonisingly short of his maiden Premier League half-century, and Brayden Pardoe (35no).

Chard called for the declaration at 2 for 115 and made inroads into Coutts' second innings before bad light stopped play at 5.40pm.

"It worked out well for us today," Chard said.

"We bowled well enough to keep them to that total and certainly batted well enough, which has been our downfall this season.

"We then gave ourselves a little bit of time to see if we could get a few wickets, especially because the forecast is not too good for next weekend."

Some weather forecasters are predicting significant rainfalls in Grafton next Saturday.

Tucabia will be hoping those predictions are way off the mark.

"We've got a full day to bowl at them and chase whatever we need to, so it's all up to the weather now," Chard said.

LADDER:

68 Harwood,

63 Tucabia

56 Brothers,

53 Westlawn

32 Coutts,

26 Souths

22 Easts

CLARENCE RIVER CRICKET ASSOCIATION

GDSC PREMIER LEAGUE

Round 14

GI HOTEL TUCABIA-COPMANHURST v GRAFTON HOTEL COUTTS CROSSING

At Lower Fisher Turf

Toss: Tuc-Cop GI Hotel

Umpires: Bruce Baxter, Steve Millar

Coutts Crossing 1st Innings

T Tilse c McKenzie b Chard 2

J Inskip c Woods b Adamson 0

N Lawson c Bultitude b Adamson 8

R Cotten lbw b Adamson 1

B Willis b Chard 9

N O'Connell c Pardoe b Chard 8

ZJ Cotten b Adamson 4

AB Elliott b Chard 1

H Woods not out 7

D Ensby c Bultitude b Chard 2

RY Cropper b Adamson 24

Extras (b 0, lb 3, w 2, nb 0) 5

Total: 71

Overs: 25.1

FoW: 1-3(T Tilse) 2-4(J Inskip) 3-8(R Cotten) 4-15(N Lawson) 5-29(N O'Connell) 6-34(ZJ Cotten) 7-35(AB Elliott) 8-38(B Willis) 9-40(D Ensby) 10-71(RY Cropper)

Bowling: B Chard 13-3-35-5, CA Adamson 12.1-3-33-5.

Tuc-Cop GI 1st Innings

DJ Cootes c Ensby b Woods 17

B Ryan lbw Z Cotten 48

BR Pardoe not out 35

TA Cootes not out 2

Extras (b 4, lb 1, w 6, nb 2) 13

TWO wickets (dec) for 115

Overs: 24

FoW: 1-43(DJ Cootes) 2-112(B Ryan)

Bowling: AB Elliott 7-1-16-0, D Ensby 5-0-22-0, H Woods 5-0-35-1, N Lawson 5-1-29-0, ZJ Cotten 2-0-8-1.

Coutts Crossing 2nd Innings

B Willis c Bultitude b Chard 8

N Lawson b Adamson 1

R Cotten not out 11

ZJ Cotten not out 7

Extras (b 0, lb 1, w 0, nb 2) 3

TWO wickets for 30

Overs: 10

FoW: 1-8(N Lawson) 2-18(B Willis)

Bowling: B Chard 5-1-13-1, CA Adamson 5-2-16-1.

GDSC EASTS v HARWOOD HILTON HOTEL

At Ellem Oval

Umpires: Tony Blanch, Jeff Hackett

No play due to wet playing conditions.

SOUTH SERVICES v BROTHERS CLOCKTOWER HOTEL

At McKittrick Park

Umpires: Dave Honeybrook, Paul Ensby

No play due to wet playing conditions.