DOG OF A DAY
Combine crashes against home side Strathmerton
The Dawmac Berrigan Finley Combine enter the Christmas break disappointed after a great opportunity was let slip at Strathmerton on Saturday in Murray Valley premier division.
Sent in to bat on the traditional ‘road’ at Strathy, the Combine lost two quick wickets in Denis (4) and Daniel (2) Hickey to be 2/12.
Where normally the Combine would crumble, some ticker was shown by opener Tom Wallis (17) and Tom Sinclair (19). The pair negotiated the next 10 overs to get to drinks in a much better position.
Following the refreshments the pair continued to add to the score until Wallis played a loose shot and was caught behind with the score on 44.
Sinclair departed with the score 4/56 and the innings teetering again after 20 overs.
Daniel Hibberd and Adrian Hickey then set out building an innings and the pair did a tremendous job. They added 64 in 13 overs for the fifth wicket.
Hibberd smashed the ball to all parts scoring eight boundaries. He also worked the twos and threes on the spacious ground in a splendid knock of 57.
Adrian Hickey, who added four in the partnership, was the solid backstop his partner needed — keeping out good bowling from the Bulldog attack.
With the score on 120, Hibberd was bowled by Mcmillan and that wicket would trigger a massive collapse. Mcmillan (5/27) ripped through the Combine tail.
After removing Hibberd, he took the next four wickets for just six runs and the Combine only added another six on top of that. They had lost 6/10 with Magill the last man out with the score 132.
Adrian Hickey remained defiant on an unbeaten 12.
With runs on the board the Combine struck the greatest blow possible removing Luke Carter for a duck second ball. Peter Magill (1/34) curled one around the legs of Carter to crash into leg stump.
From there, luck deserted the Combine. Matt Haddrell (51) had all the luck in the world as he smashed his way to a half century.
Several inside edges grazed the stumps and his lofted shots went agonisingly close to hand, but he rode his wave of good fortune and set victory up for the Bulldogs.
The Combine did fight back though to give themselves a chance of the unlikely.
Paul Massingham (3/21) and Tom Wallis (1/50) bowled well to take the top order wickets and have Strathy 4/87.
From there the Bulldogs were able to work their way to the victory target without too much trouble.
Some quality bowling from Daniel Hickey (2/22) ensured there would be as tough a resistance as possible, but when the sixth wicket fell scores were level.
The final 11 overs saw Strathy cash in on the ‘‘free hit’’ and they closed at 8/205 after 45 overs.
The Combine travel to Waaia on January 7.
Division One The Combine ended up playing out a draw over the weekend, but not before having to go through the wringer to get it.
Cobram batted first on Saturday and were soon under pressure as Tom Barnes (2/33) removed both openers with the score only 17.
Mark Bond (20) and Matthew Taylor (16) added runs in the middle order but two wickets to Lachlan Calder (2/35) and two first class run outs reduced the Tigers to 6/79 and in all sorts of strife.
But the Tigers would fight back and it would be through veteran Brian Taylor that it would come. The wily bat combined with Ricky Nolan (22) to add 120 for the seventh wicket.
Taylor was ruthless smashing nine fours and a six in his knock. He brought up his ton shortly before Nolan was out to Lachlan Oddie (1/31).
Oddie bowled some well controlled spin to tie up his end during the run spree.
Daniel Wark (1/14) bowled well to also contain the Tigers late in the innings and had Taylor caught by Oddie for 108. A late wicket to Andrew Cleve (1/26) saw the Tigers finish 70 overs on 9/226.
Sunday only brought rain, and it seemed for certain that no play would get in during the day. But a break in weather ensured some time at the crease. The Combine probably wished it had continued raining.
A disastrous 22 over period was faced. Barnes (0) went first ball and Tom Isedale (2) soon after.
Zac Nichols added a smashing 17 but was soon bowled as well.
Andrew Parr (6), Wark (0) and Cleve (0) all couldn’t stay with skipper Anderson (6 n.o) who watched the disaster happen from the other end.
The combine after 16 overs were 6/36. Lachlan Oddie capped a good Division One debut with some rock solid defence to aid his captain who faced out almost half the overs himself. The pair took the score to 41 with on over to go before Oddie was bowled by Tolliday.
As if on cue, the heavens opened, finally, and saved the Combine the embarrassment of losing a match they should have always drawn.
The Combine hosts Tocumwal under lights in Finley on Jan 7 commencing at 5.30pm.