Tintenbar East Ballina Fire strengthened their position in the top four by beating Bangalow in the Ballina District Cricket Association third grade game on the weekend.
Playing at home on Kingsford Smith North Oval the Fire won the toss and chose to bat, and made good use of the situation.
The openers put together a 136-run initial stand on the back of a century by P Dalli and 31 runs for W Jenkins.
E Barnwell contributed with an unbeaten 35 and A Gibbs made 13 as the side reached 6/214 off their 40 overs.
In reply Bangalow could only manage 173 runs, held back by a strong follow-up bowling from the Ballina East Tintenbar side.
W Jenkins was the best for the home side with 2/9 from four overs, and E Barnwell contributed 2/22 off his four. L Wagland also got 2/22 off 7.3 overs.
Despite the loss Bangalow remain in the top two of the competition with 56 points, just two below table-toppers Tintenbar East Ballina Weeds, who are on 58 points.
But Bangalow’s loss also opened the door for Lennox Head, who are now pushing a claim to second on the ladder after a strong win over Byron Bay on the weekend.
Lennox Head are in third place (also on 56) ahead of the Fire who are now on 47 points.
The top four are starting to leave the rest of the competition behind with fifth place Alstonville Wood Ducks sitting on 21 points.
Lennox had a good day playing away and notched up 203 with good contributions from M Hickey (38), J Hooper (36), G du Plessis (28no), J Young (23), B Nielsen (18) and B Leneghan (13).
Best bowlers for Byron Bay included: James Leary (3/26), Max Bear (3/33) and Levi Shouldice (2/28).
In reply Byron could not handle the bowling of J Leneghan, who collected 5/13, and Mark Duncan, who also impressed with 3/13.
Byron was bowled out for 64 with the bright spot being another good innings from Tim Goodhind, who made 28 runs.
Byron Bay sit in sixth place in the competition with 26 points.