Brave Cats can’t ruffle Hawks
Barooga remains on top of the Murray Valley Cricket Association Premier Grade ladder after a comfortable victory over Finley on Friday night in Round 5.
The Hawks won the toss and batted on their home deck on a wicket which had plenty of surprise bounce early on and a lightning quick outfield.
Some effective bowling from Chris Shaw (2/24) exploited this and the Hawks were under pressure early as they lost two wickets in consecutive balls to the captain to be struggling on 23.
The Cats bowled and fielded extremely well as the Hawks were keen to take risks with running between the wickets.
Tom Barnes (2/26) and Paul Massingham (1/49) took care of the next three wickets and suddenly the Hawks were struggling at 5/53.
But as the Cats looked to take control, the opposition again was able to build a strong middle order resurgence.
Matt Dimble (66) was the mainstay of the innings as he and Justin Maley (25) added 68 for the sixth wicket.
James Midson (1/24) broke through removing Maley, but another 39 runs were added between Brodie Jukes (28 n.o) and Dimble to again foil the Cats.
Dimble was eventually caught behind off Lucas Peacock (1/30). This brought Anton Noble (21 n.o) to the crease and again the Cats could not break through for a wicket.
To their credit however, some tight fielding restricted the Hawks to 7/200 off 45 overs.
The batting performance of the Cats did not reach any great heights with some excellent pace bowling from Matthew Jaensch (4/12) and Mitch Richmann (3/16) doing the damage.
They ripped through the top order and Finley never recovered. A stand alone 43 from Massingham was the only highlight as the Cats struggled to be all out for 100 in 27 overs.
Some batting improvement will need to come as the Cats travel to Tocumwal on Saturday.
Division Two A superb rearguard batting performance from Nick Lyons (36 n.o) and Kyle Coates (13) proved the difference in an entertaining game at Finley on Friday night.
Batting first the Cats innings looked in all sorts of trouble with four wickets back in the shed and only 19 runs on the board.
Some middle order magic though from Lachlan Calder (19) and Merv Percy (25) steadied the ship and gave the Cats a reasonable platform to work from. But the wickets continued to fall.
Anthony Holmes was at his brilliant best snaring a mindboggling 7/14 as the Cats struggled to lay bat on ball. Shane Mauger (13) toiled away late in the innings but the saving grace was Lyons and Coates.
At 9/88 the innings was looking over but the pair added 42 valuable runs in a stunning 10th wicket stand.
Lyons smashed six boundaries in his knock and with Coates were able to steal singles when required.
With four overs to go however the innings came to a close with the score, a defendable 130.
Lyons continued where he left off with the blade snaring the first wicket early on in the Saints run chase.
As seems to be the case in these grudge matches, the key wickets for the Cats were always going to be Neil Graham (42) and Holmes (24), and thus it proved once again.
Graham smashed four fours and a six in his knock but lost two partners along the way before he was bowled by Philip Leatham (2/14).
The middle order for the Saints struggled, leaving Holmes to carry the load. Some excellent bowling form Lachlan Oddie (3/15) tore through the Saints batting.
Wickets continued to fall and at 7/87 the game was evenly poised, especially with Holmes still in.
Mauger (2/21) and Coates (1/24) steered victory closer for the Cats with three critical wickets.
At 9/109 the Saints still had a sniff of pinching an unlikely victory but Lachlan Calder (1/6) bowled just one ball of the 35th over and it removed Holmes to end the match. Finley won by 17 runs.
The Cats host Cobram 1 on Saturday.
Under 16s The Cats were comprehensively beaten last week against Strathmerton/Katunga but did avoid outright defeat.
The Combine continued their innings and comfortably won first innings points.
The Cats bowling was quite solid as Damien Wilson took a classy 4/37.
Jonothan Oliver (2/20) and Jarrod Morham (2/17) were the other wicket takers as the home side were eventually bowled out for 103.
Needing to survive 26 overs, the Cats looked far from doing this early on. Again the batting failed early and at 5/15 the innings was in dire straits.
But some responsible batting from Michael McRae (26 n.o) steered the Cats to safer waters.
Ethan Mills (6) and Daniel Montgomery (4 n.o) negotiated some good bowling with McRae to avoid the embarrassment of being outrighted.
The Cats host CYU tomorrow night.
Under 14s The young Cats almost pulled off a remarkable victory last Thursday night against Berrigan in a tense battle.
Requiring 107 to win the Cats resumed at 2/4 and in serious trouble. This trouble was exacerbated with the dismissal of Jorja Daniel early on.
The Cats though remained resilient.
Matthew Wilson smashed a fast 11 before skipper Cameron Isedale (17) produced a stunning leader’s knock. When Damon Anderson (8) joined him at the crease at 6/40 victory looked miles away, but the determination of the pair is to be credited.
Through staying at the crease, the pair added 39 valuable runs. The majority of which were gifted by the Saints in extras.
Sundries ended up being the Cats’ chief run scorer with 49 (31 wides) but as the young Cats have come to realise; if you’re out, you can’t get extras!
Eventually the excellent bowling of Connor Thornton (5/6) proved the difference as he ripped through the tail end of the Cats batting but not before giving them an almighty scare.
The Cats batted a remarkable 48 overs and were all out for 90.
The Cats travel to Jerilderie this week.
Tom Barnes, who took 2/26, in action against Barooga on Friday evening.