Beautiful conditions, although a little steamy, greeted players from the Aussie Hotel and Nyngan RSL teams as they squared off in Saturday cricket.
With skipper Adrian Taylor side-lined, Michael Gibson was handed the reigns of the Aussie Hotel side and he claimed early bragging rights after winning the toss from RSL Captain, Cameron Bourke.
“We’ll have a bat thanks champ” quipped Gibson, and Bourke led his troops onto a lush looking oval at the synthetic pitch.
Bourke opened the bowling with Tyler Martin for RSL and the firebrands were both sharp, with Bourke zipping through and Martin shaping the ball nicely.
Opener Stuart Barton was Bourke’s first scalp, without troubling the scorer, taken behind the wicket by Liam Wherritt. The Aussie batters all got starts with Connor McDonald (16), Tommy (18) and Mark Barton (14) playing sound knocks and supporting newcomer Ross Gibson, who carved a solid 23 from the bowlers.
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Martin bowled McLeod with a beautiful in-swinging ball on the final delivery of his spell, spilling the stumps onto the pitch. M Barton and import Gibson played some free-wheeling strokes and scattered the RSL fielders, like sheep being worked with a beagle after drinks.
The RSL bowlers toiled with Bourke and Martin each finishing with two wickets, for 15 and 23 respectively off their eight overs.
Evergreen Richard Hoare was reliable as always taking 2/29 off seven overs, whilst Liam Wherritt took off the gloves and collected 2/14 off four overs.
Young Nate Holmes claimed the final wicket and Bill Berrick complained of a sore neck, watching his three overs be dispatched for 21 runs. An adequate 116 runs looked an achievable task for the RSL batters, if they could hold their nerve.
The RSL innings got off to a typical flyer with Captain Bourke flailing the opening bowlers of S Barton and Tommy. At the other end Wherritt was holding his own and supporting Bourke, who after being dropped off a sharp chance in the first over, compiled a quick-fire 29 before being caught-behind off the bowling of Stuart Barton. Besides Wherritt (20), the rest of the RSL batters came and went with less impact than a quarter strength, skim cappuccino on a sleep deprived parent of wild toddlers.
Leading scorer on the day was sundries in the RSL innings, with the Aussie bowlers dishing up a deplorable 36 runs of wides and no-balls, with even the timely bowling-change strategies of Gibson failing to cease the waywardness, as wickets tumbled.
This funded the RSL innings better than a Billy Barrow led raffle, almost allowing a scrappy win for the RSL who were finally bowled out for 105 runs with Glen Berwick and Richard Hoare making a final stand, which would have brought a tear to the eye of former skipper Peter Lupton.
G Berwick was caught well by S Barton to close out a tense match.
Connor, Tommy and M Barton all backed up their batting with solid bowling performances claiming a share of the wickets, with Tim Walsh also taking 2 wickets amongst a host of sundries.
Pat Walsh snared a cheeky wicket late, whilst Stuart Barton chimed in throwing the stumps down for a classy run-out early in the piece.
This week Aussie Hotel will be looking to sustain their winning form against a red-hot Dalkeith.