Fin­ley flat­tened by Nathalia

Southern Riverina news - - SPORT -

Fin­ley’s Pre­mier Grade sea­son got off to a dis­ap­point­ing start on Satur­day against reign­ing pre­mier Nathalia, go­ing down by 131 runs at Fin­ley.

How­ever the Cats showed enough to sug­gest this sea­son could be more suc­cess­ful than more re­cent years.

Win­ning the toss, the Cats sent the vis­i­tors in on a very green and slow first-up pitch.

A su­perb open­ing spell of slow bowl­ing from new re­cruit Saad Qureshi (0/30 of seven) and medium pace from Darcy Webb (0/9 off six) kept the cham­pi­ons on the ropes for the first hour.

Webb was al­most un­playable for the open­ing pair of Scott Mor­ris (13) and Har­ri­son Hawks (32).

The Cats’ first wicket of the sea­son was a bril­liant piece of field­ing from Cougar McGrath whose un­der arm flick dis­turbed the stumps to re­move Mor­ris by run out and Nathalia were 1/18.

Tocumwal’s Jesse Barker joined the Cats in the top grade for the first game and pro­duced a siz­zling open­ing spell to keep the pres­sure on the vis­i­tors.

A ris­ing de­liv­ery snared the edge of Luke Quinn’s (12) bat and a div­ing Matthew Wil­son catch saw the Cats in a good spot with the score 2/32.

Hawks started to find his feet and be­gan to take to the at­tack and to­gether with Luke Carter (59) the score­board be­gan to tick over.

Da­mon An­der­son (1/16) snared his first wicket of the year to re­move Hawks’ off stump and at 3/83 the in­nings was poised.

Un­for­tu­nately for the Cats a dom­i­nant and smart cen­tury part­ner­ship be­tween Carter and Ash Quinn (76 not out) put paid to any fur­ther Cat dom­i­nance.

The pair milked runs in what was a de´ja` vu part­ner­ship to the same fix­ture 12 months ago.

The pair did not dom­i­nate the bowl­ing but en­sured the run rate picked up.

As the in­nings drew to a close, Barker snared Carter with the score at 184 and a last minute part­ner­ship be­tween Quinn and Tom Ni­hill (7 not out) saw Nathalia reach 4/215 from its 45 overs.

The Cats were keen to make a pos­i­tive start with the blade but try­ing to do that against Ash Quinn at the best of times is chal­leng­ing.

The left arm quick grabbed three wick­ets in his first three overs to put the Cats on the back foot from the start.

A 28 run part­ner­ship be­tween Daniel Hib­berd (11) and re­cruit Dan McHugh (36) got the score­board tick­ing along in the right di­rec­tion.

Hib­berd fell with the score on 39 and from there the mid­dle or­der could not hold it to­gether.

The shin­ing light was McHugh whose de­but in­nings left the Cats think­ing of more pos­i­tive knocks to come.

The young bat looked right at home and his in­nings con­cluded when trapped in front for an LBW with the score at 76. In the end the Cats were all out for 84.

Fin­ley have a grand op­por­tu­nity to bounce back this week­end with two one day games sched­uled.

The Cats will travel to Kata­matite on Satur­day in what looks a winnable match and will then tackle last year’s grand fi­nal­ists Co­bram at Co­bram on Sun­day.

Di­vi­sion Two will start its sea­son on Satur­day af­ter­noon against Kata­matite.

Fin­ley was forced to with­draw its Di­vi­sion One side from the com­pe­ti­tion due to a lack of num­bers.

Club pres­i­dent Chris Shaw said while it was dis­ap­point­ing, the de­ci­sion had to be made.

‘‘As hard as we tried we were even­tu­ally down on num­bers,’’ he said.

‘‘We’ll def­i­nitely field a Di­vi­sion One side next sea­son . . . it’s only a tem­po­rary prob­lem.’’

The club also an­nounced its cap­tains for the year with Shaw lead­ing the Pre­mier Di­vi­sion side and An­thony King Di­vi­sion Two’s skip­per.

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