Country Championships: Central North go painstakingly close to last-start win

SO CLOSE: The Central North side at the Country Championship at Inverell over the weekend. Photo: Supplied
SO CLOSE: The Central North side at the Country Championship at Inverell over the weekend. Photo: Supplied

Central North’s Country Championship campaign has finished with a narrow loss to North Coastal on Sunday in Inverell despite a stellar showing from Lachlan Cameron.

Cameron belted 89 runs not out from 97 balls in Central North’s innings but North Coastal still managed to just get home.

A grand final spot was out of the question for both sides – who had both lost their opening games to Newcastle and Western – heading into the third round but the match was one of the closest of the carnival as North Coastal hit the winning runs with an over to spare.

Central North batted first as North Coastal opening bowler James Julius (5-36) proved more than a handful.

He took the first four wickets to have Central North at 4-32.

The cavalry arrived for Central North in the form of Jacob Carey and Cameron – who was playing his first match of the carnival.

The duo moved the score to 65 before Carey (16) was removed.

Cameron then shared partnerships with Coby Cornish (19), captain Tom Groth (4), Lincoln Mills (35) and Daniel Willis (13*) which saw Central North finish on 8-215.

An early scalp to Mills (1-27) bode well for Central North but the wickets dried up.

Lachlan Barnsley (108) and Richie Gallichan (44) slowly went about chipping away at Central North’s total.

Geary (3-65) chimed in with wickets along the way and with four overs to go, North Coastal needed 28 runs to win.

With wickets in hand, North Coastal was able to throw the willow around and track down the runs.

The loss meant Central North had three losses from three starts over the weekend.

In the opening match of the weekend, Central North went down by 59 runs to Newcastle on Friday.

A clash with Western followed where a 50 from Geary saw Central North post 104 before Western won with two wickets in hand.