Game in the balance
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.”