Game in the bal­ance

Wangaratta Chronicle - - Sport - CRICKET By CAM POT­TER

BOTH Rovers United Bruck and Beech­worth knew their round five clash was go­ing to be a nail biter.

Beech­worth coach Mark But­ters said be­fore the match that you al­ways try and get your­selves up for these games against the Hawks, while Rovers United Bruck cap­tain Jor­dan Blades ex­pected a dis­ci­plined dis­play from the Wan­der­ers.

And that is what tran­spired.

The Wan­der­ers had the Hawks 3/31 with Jake Bid­dulph (1/18) and Richie Worces­ter (4/19) re­mov­ing the top or­der.

Vance Cur­ran (32) and Ja­cob Schonafin­ger (16) put to­gether a 45-run part­ner­ship for the fourth wicket be­fore Schonafin­ger was bowled by Matt Pearce.

Adam Mc­Na­mara didn’t trou­ble the scor­ers, and Cur­ran fol­lowed shortly af­ter and the Hawks were 6/88.

Bai­ley Dale and Joe Thomas stuck tough for a gritty 16-run part­ner­ship that saw the Hawks tick the score past 100 be­fore Dale fell for six runs.

Thomas fell for 11 runs shortly af­ter, Paddy Mc­Na­mara was out for a duck be­fore Blake Nixon and Josh O’Dono­hue put on 11 runs for the last wicket.

Nixon was out for four runs and O’Dono­hue re­mained not out on 11 as the Hawks posted 122 from 43 overs.

Worces­ter took four wick­ets, Mark But­ters fin­ished with three and Matt Pearce grabbed two.

“We weren’t in a bad shape un­til just be­fore tea when we lost three quick wick­ets,” Jor­dan Blades said.

“The pitch was a tough track to bat on and we dis­cussed our aim was to get 140-150; we knew we could de­fend that on this pitch.

“All out for 122 isn’t ideal but we man­aged to turn it around with the ball.”

The Wan­der­ers were left to ne­go­ti­ate the fi­nal 29 avail­able overs of the day and were met with the full force of the Hawks’ bowl­ing line up.

Beech­worth opener Stuart Pearce lost his wicket for just seven run while Kayde Sur­rey started on the in­nings on fire with 16 quick runs be­fore Josh O’Dono­hue re­moved him caught be­hind.

Joe Thomas got the wicket of in­form bats­man Jack Ryan for just 18 and Jon Hyde trapped Bren­ton Sur­rey leg be­fore wicket for 13, while Cam Fendyk quickly fol­lowed Sur­rey for a duck.

The Wan­der­ers were in se­ri­ous trou­ble 5/57 and while Jake Bid­dulph (four runs) tried his best to stem the flow, Joe Thomas had him caught by Adam Mc­Na­mara and Beech­worth was re­duced to 6/66 at the end of day one.

Thomas fin­ished day one with 3/17 off nine overs, O’Dono­hue land- ed 2/22 off five with Jon Hyde’s lbw de­ci­sion com­ing off a bril­liant 1/5 off five overs.

“We were a lit­tle bit dis­ap­pointed with the way we bat­ted, and our bowlers knew that had to fire up and they did,” Blades said.

“Josh re­moved Kayde Sur­rey who looked like he wanted to win the game on day one.

“Josh has flown under the radar a bit but he takes a cou­ple of wick­ets each match, and he scored some vi­tal runs in his in­nings on Satur­day; he has put a lot of work in and he is now reap­ing the re­wards.

“We carry a lot of mo­men­tum into next week so now we just need to fin­ish the job.”

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