Towns hang on for day-night win

Geraldton Guardian - - Sport - Vic­tor Tanti

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.

Pic­tures: Arc­tic Moon Pho­tog­ra­phy

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.

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