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After a strong win in the opening round of the McDonalds Country Cricket NSW Country Championships, Central Coast suffered a disappointing loss to Central North by 31 runs at Tuggerah today.

Central Coast 197 (Jake Hardy 68, Steve McCabe 44, Callum Rainger 32) lost to Central North 8/228 (Chris Archer 3/34, Jack Heuston 2/25)

After losing the toss, Central Coast fielded first and after an early wicket were made to work hard by a determined Central North outfit led by former Lisarow Ourimbah player Simon Norvill 58 and Callum Gabriel 52. The visitors struggled for wickets however good bowling through the middle of the innings by Chris Archer 3/34 and Dylan Robertson 1/34, both off 10 overs restricted Central North to be very competitive 8/228 off their 50 overs.

Needing 229 for victory were on par with Central North for most of the innings courtesy of 68 from opener Jake Hardy and with the score at 5/183, and with Steve McCabe and Callum Rainger at the crease Central Coast seemed to be gaining the upper hand following consecutives sixes from McCabe. However in a unique set of circumstances the second six resulted in a lost ball and the replacement ball gave the returning Central North opening bowlers a new lease of life. From 5/183, Pat Magann and Tom O’Neill proceeded to take the final five Central Coast wickets for 14 runs off 20 balls to see them dismissed for 197. McCabe ended up with a well made 44 and Rainger 32. O’Neill was excellent finishing with 4/35 whilst both Magann and Bryce Warren took two wickets apiece.

In the other game Newcastle defeated North Coast by three wickets in a tight contest.

Tomorrow Central Coast will play Newcastle and Central North will do battle with North Coast.

Table: Newcastle 13, Central Coast 6, Central North 6, North Coast 0

Full scorecard:

Highlights from the match:

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