Coffs Harbour's Angus Crouch gets one out of the middle of the bat during the third and final round of North Coast Cricket Council Interdistrict series between Clarence River and Coffs Harbour at Ellem Oval, Grafton.
Coffs Harbour's Angus Crouch gets one out of the middle of the bat during the third and final round of North Coast Cricket Council Interdistrict series between Clarence River and Coffs Harbour at Ellem Oval, Grafton. Matthew Elkerton

Three run defeat a hard pill to swallow for CRCA

REP CRICKET: Needing 17 runs off their final over to win, Clarence River pair Brad Chard (19*) and Jack Weatherstone (28*) refused to give in.

When Chard bombed the first delivery for six the hope in the dressing room rose in a crescendo.

But it was not to be for the representative side as they needed six to win from the final ball but could only manage to sneak a two.

It was an agonising three run defeat at the hands of Coffs Harbour that ended Clarence River's dreams of making the North Coast Cricket Council Interdistrict final in a fortnight.

Earlier Coffs Harbour had batted out their 50 overs finishing at 9-217 after captain Richie Gallichan got the side off to a flying start.

A stellar spell of middle overs bowling from Zac Page (3-22 off 10) and Jack Weatherstone (0-16 off 7) dried up the Coffs scoring including a four over period without leaking a run.

"They got off to a bit of a flier at first so it was good to rein the run rate in,” Page said. "I was just rewarded for a simple line and length formula. Jack did a good job at the other end - at the time both of us were bowling really good lines and we both just built pressure nicely in the middle overs.”

With wickets in hand Coffs managed to up the ante through the latter overs as they pushed to finish 9-217 at the end of their 50 overs, but Page thought it was still a below-par score.

"I honestly thought we would get the runs,” he said. "It was not going to be easy but I guess in the end it just proved to be a bit harder than what I thought it was.”

Brothers' Billy Kerr had got the Clarence side off to a flying start with a strong half-century at the top of the order putting on a 40-run opening stand with Tom Kroehnert (13).

Clarence lost middle order hitters Luke Cox and Jason Rainbow in quick succession before captain Jake Kroehnert (34) added some stability alongside his fellow Brothers' hitter.

While everyone else in the side got starts it was tough for the batsmen to get going on a slow deck and the total just kept getting away on the Clarence side.

It was a heartbreaking loss for the home side who will now go on to play Lower Clarence in the Cotten Shield next weekend in what will be their last piece of rep cricket action for the season.

"It was a bit of a heart breaking result,” Page said. "Only three runs in it shows how tight the game was.It is pretty disappointing not to make the final though.”