FAST START

Pre­mier in 5-0 blitz

Campaspe News - - SPORT - By ALEX MITCHELL — Con­tin­ued page 15

IT might be early in the Goulburn Mur­ray Cricket sea­son, but Rochester United is con­tin­u­ing to show form mak­ing it the red-hot favourite for a third straight flag.

A great per­for­mance with the bat set up a fifth win for the sea­son on Satur­day, Stan­hope no match as United con­tin­ued an un­de­feated start to the cam­paign.

Cap­tain Tim Bubb was thrilled his side had wasted lit­tle time es­tab­lish­ing itself as a com­pe­ti­tion front-run­ner.

‘‘I’m ab­so­lutely rapt with the start. I def­i­nitely didn’t think we’d be 5-0 with quite a few key play­ers miss­ing,’’ he said.

‘‘We’re start­ing to get our best side in and it’s a great po­si­tion to be in. We’re not plan­ning on drop­ping games, but even if we do have a bad game we’ve got wins in the bank.’’

United won the toss and bat­ted, its re­li­able top four bats de­liv­er­ing as ex­pected with Corey Win­dridge (34) and Jor­dan Gar­rett (33) get­ting a strong start.

Both fell with the score on 77, but it brought Bubb and Sean Wil­liams to the crease, the pair un­trou­bled by the Stan­hope bowlers in an 81-run part­ner­ship.

Wil­liams went first for 41 be­fore Bubb was bowled by Alex Heaton for 58, his high­est score of the sea­son. Bro­dan Evans (8*) and Dy­lan Cut­triss (10*) added some late runs to take the score to 4/203 from 45 overs.

Bubb was im­pressed with the com­plete bat­ting per­for­mance, adding im­port Gar­rett’s im­pact at the top of the or­der had been su­perb. The English­man hasn’t failed once in five games, with 241 runs at an av­er­age of 48.2.

‘‘Jor­dan is great up the top, he’s a su­per player and he’s get­ting us a good start most weeks,’’ Bubb said.

‘‘It’s cru­cial to deal with the new ball and he’s get­ting through it ev­ery week, and scores at a good rate as well mean­ing we don’t have prob­lems with the run-rate.’’

Stan­hope needed a strong start if it was to chase down the tar­get, and dis­as­ter struck early with Daryl Har­ri­son run out for 14, the score 1/18.

The wick­ets tum­bled with reg­u­lar­ity mean­ing it couldn’t put to­gether part­ner­ships, Mark McFarlane the ar­chi­tect with the ball with 4/25.

He had the key wick­ets of Brian Cowie (18), Matthew Evans (19) and Stan­hope cap­tain Michael Coad (4), but it was the tidy bowl­ing of the en­tire side that built the pres­sure as the bats­men slipped fur­ther be­hind the re­quired run rate. Stan­hope was even­tu­ally bowled out for 117 in 42.4 overs.

United re­main on top of the lad­der as the only un­de­feated team af­ter five rounds.

A GUTSY half-cen­tury from Bren­dan Pren­der­gast has sent the Rochester Tigers to a sec­ond-straight de­feat at home on Satur­day.

Echuca was in some trou­ble at 2/39 when he came to the crease, the ex­pe­ri­enced bats­man stay­ing strong as wick­ets fell around him to make 56 and guide his side to a com­pet­i­tive to­tal of 7/148.

Adam Ward, Bran­don Byrne and Fraser Cleary each took two wick­ets, ev­ery bowler eco­nom­i­cal to keep the to­tal within reach.

Photo: Bruce Povey

Rochester United cap­tain Tim Bubb hits out on his way to 58 against Stan­hope in Goulburn Mur­ray Cricket on Satur­day.

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