Towns hang on for day-night win
Sportsmans were unable to defend 139 against Towns in a day-nighter at Wonthella on Saturday.
It was one of the 2017-18 Geraldton Bendigo Bank Cricket League’s closest games, with Towns claiming the win with three overs to spare.
A highlight was Reece Prosser’s hat-trick (3-30), his second, taken across two overs.
Sportsmans won the toss and batted, but only Aaron McAuliffe (30) and Riley Barham (31) fired, with help from Graeme Barndon (15) and Hugh Keeffe (16).
McAuliffe was out to an excellent Jay Comben gully catch off Josh DeLacy (2-29), who removed Cody Bone too, thanks to a sharp Matt Hughes grab at mid-off.
Hughes (2-31) claimed Clint Yeates first ball thanks to an excellent catch by Sam Crouch, while Barham, last man out, fell to Brad Mailer (3-30).
Tom Forsyth (2-21) was steady and John Elliman (0-11 from 10 overs) was economical.
In the reply, Towns soon lost Elliman to Yeates (2-27), caught by Ben Starling at point, but made headway through Vijil Varghese (25) and Comben (18) to reach 3-60.
A 50-run partnership between Crouch (45) and Amos Steiger (24) helped Towns, though Dan Welsh (0-22 from 10 overs) made the run rate an issue with a great spell.
Yeates showed inspired captaincy to bring on McAuliffe to break the stand thanks to a fine caught behind from Barndon.
Victory was near when Prosser claimed Crouch and Daniel Lennard in successive balls, and Towns fell over the line through Travis Owen and Hughes on 8-155.
Elliman was delighted with the win. “We had a chat before we started and said we wanted to enjoy each other’s company and have some fun and I think we were more relaxed about our cricket today,” he said.
There was a 16-over period in the middle overs when Towns added only 19 runs and Elliman said that did worry him at the time.
“I thought we missed a few singles but Steiger and Crouch are experienced cricketers and felt they had the job in hand and they did,” he said.
Riley Barham was the last man out for Sportsmans, falling to Brad Mailer.
Sportsmans batsman Cody Bone plays to the offside.
Towns celebrate a wicket.
Towns bowler Tom Forsyth was steady throughout.
Aaron McAuliffe bats for Sportsmans.
Towns bowler Jai Comben.