Dogs on their merry way
Monday, 24th December, 2018
By Tyler Hannigan
The North Bulldogs will remain undefeated heading into the Christmas break after proving too strong for Central in A Grade cricket on Saturday.
Confusion surrounded the start of the game with all four clubs turning up at the Alma Oval but eventually it was decided that North and Central would be the first teams to try the redeveloped Alma pitch and outfield.
North batted first with Brendon Martin joining Bill Bergman at the top of the order and the pair made a solid start, adding 22 before Martin was bowled for 6.
Codie Howard joined Bergman, the top two A Grade run scorers thus far this season, and their good form continued. They added 49 for the second wicket until the Magpies picked up the dangerous Howard for 21.
Bergman rode his luck and was let off a number of times by the Central fielders but eventually Luke Neal knocked over his stumps for a well-made 43 from 52 balls. Bergman injured his hamstring while batting and would take no further part in the match.
At 3-89 and Tobias Hack at the crease North looked to be in a commanding position but Central were able to fight back in a big way.
Neal had his second wicket when Hack (3) chipped a simple catch to James Bressanelli and a shocking piece of running saw Anthony Tidball (4) dismissed after he and Ben Victory wound up at the same end.
Victory (4) and Jordan Vella (7) didn’t last long after the second drinks break while Austin Wilson (3), Nash Mitchell (9), Kieran McEvoy (7*) and Tom Davey (1*) scrapped the score to 9-141 at the end of their 40 overs. North’s total was helped by Central’s 33 extras.
Neal was superb with figures of 3-17 from eight overs while Ross Casey also bowled with to take 3-12 off six.
Central’s chase could hardly have started worse as opener Damon Pettitt was forced from the field after top-edging his first delivery into his jaw.
Tristen Smith (9) was the first wicket to fall while Jason Maalste (4) followed shortly after but Jarred Paull and Michael Maalste were able to steady the ship.
The pair pushed the total to 68 until Paull was gone for 26 trying to up the run rate. Neal then played a couple of night shots but his dismissal for 11 signaled a collapse.
James Bressanelli (0), David O’Mally (2), Scott Mateer (1) and Casey (2) offered little resistance and while Michael Maalste finished on a brave 42 from 84 balls, after Paull’s wicket he had no support.
Nash Mitchell was superb with the ball, taking 3-4 from 4.3 overs. Howard, McEvoy, Vella, Tom Davey and Tidball each chipped in with a wicket as well.
North are now eight wins and one no result from nine games and have comfortably established themselves as the benchmark side for 2018/19.
Central have struggled over the first half of the season in a way that their A Grade side hasn’t for a long time. They have just one win and will be battling with West for third spot over the final six rounds.
Broken Hill cricket will now break over the Christmas/New Years period and resumes on Saturday January 14.
North 9 for 141 (B. Bergman 43, C. Howard 21; R. Casey 3-12, L. Neal 3-17) def Central 114 (M. Maalste 42, J. Paull 26; N. Mitchell 3-4) by 27 runs