Few runs on lush Alma deck
Monday, 17th February, 2020
By Michael Murphy
The North Cricket Club continues to firm as favourites to win this year’s flag after smashing West by eight wickets at the Alma Oval on Saturday.
The Bulldog attack knocked over the Robins for just 79 runs, sending down 27 overs in just over an hour and a half.
North shared the wickets among their bowlers, with wily veteran Josh Savage picking up three of them.
It was a perfect day to be out on the green; the only problem was that the green was a bit too thick.
The Alma Oval turf had a bit of length on it, slowing down the outfield to a snail’s pace. Shots that would usually hit the boundary for four were being pulled up by outfielders.
Savage struck first for the Dogs, removing West opener Peter Lewis for a duck. He then knocked over the crucial wickets of Lachlan Kaye and Max Everuss, both caught behind by Tobias Hack.
West’s Jake Trengrove stood his ground and made 18 runs, including
three boundaries, but when he departed, the Robins weren’t in good shape at 5/36.
Paddric Attard top scored for the Robins with 26 not out, a gutsy inning by the burly heavy hitter, but he soon ran out of partners.
North allrounder Dan ter Braak came on for an over of leg spin and bowled out Colby Stenhouse (9), who was providing good support for Attard.
Jack Burke was then run out after being sent back to the bowler’s end, ending West’s innings.
In response, the Dogs overcame West’s score in just under 15 overs.
Jordan Vella and Dan ter Braak opened the batting for North. Both looked comfortable at the crease, although West missed an opportunity to catch out Vella in the second over.
Both Vella and ter Braak were driving the ball at every opportunity, especially ter Braak who was walking up the pitch to turn good length deliveries into half volleys, skying the ball into the outfield.
Paddric Attard took both their wickets, but not before the pair had put the game beyond doubt.
South versus Central
The Sunday game was another low-scoring affair with Central scraping home to beat South by two wickets at the Alma Oval.
South batted first, and openers Paul Nicholas and Wade Gepp both got starts.
Luke Neal opened the bowling for the Pies and took out Gepp’s stumps in his third over.
First drop Gillespie then departed for just one run, and the Roos then managed to strike up a good partnership between Sheldon Hall and Nicholas.
The pair took the score to 47 before Hall departed the scene, a slick catch by Singh (18) off the bowling of Rhodes.
Nicholas fell ten runs later, and then the rot set in for South, losing their next six wickets for just 20 runs.
The Roos were all out for 78, and it should have been a walkover for the Pies, but the southerners had a different plan.
Lawrence Hebbard (3/13) and Benny Franklyn (2/18) led the attack for the Roos, knocking over most of the Magpie batsmen for single digits.
If it wasn’t for third drop Damon Pettit, who remained 30 not out, the Roos would have likely won the match.
But the Magpies prevailed in the end, scoring the winning runs in the 30th over.