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.
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.
CLARENCE RIVER CRICKET ASSOCIATION
GDSC PREMIER LEAGUE
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
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
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
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.