A SURPRISE win by St Mary’s over YOBS at the new home of cricket at Barnard Park was the highlight of the opening round of A-grade fixtures in the Busselton-Margaret River Cricket Association on Saturday.
In their first game under new skipper Kurt Davis, Saints dismissed YOBS for 119 in the 41st over, and then reached the target for the loss of just three wickets inside 31 overs to earn two bonus points under the new A-grade format.
Opening batsman Marc Ford played a chanceless knock of 62 for Saints to make the chase look easy. Jacob Cook (19) shared a valuable opening partnership of 46 with Ford to get Saints on their winning way, running aggressively between wickets to cause several overthrows.
Teenager Troyden Thorp was the best performer for YOBS with 43 off 74 balls in only his second A-grade appearance. New arrivals played such a big role for St Mary’s that all 10 wickets in the YOBS innings fell to bowlers who did not play A-grade last year.
The performance of imports Ed Moulton and Joe Lowe from Lancashire delighted the victors, with Moulton taking 4 for 15 off 7.4 overs with his fast bowling (including a wicket off the third ball of the game) and Lowe taking 3 for 30, and getting great turn from the square with his legspin.
Sixteen-year-old Lewis Milligan and Jaxon Bennison both made a big impression in their A-grade debut for Saints, Milligan taking 2 for 9 and Bennison taking a wicket with his first ball in A-grade cricket when Tait Spowart holed out to Ash Leaney at square leg.
YOBS new captain Ben Payne took a wicket in his first over and will be looking forward to the return of Nayton Colombera and Luke Wedderburn to strengthen the batting.
Dunsborough were victorious over Margaret River Hawks in the other A-grade game at Dunsborough, with Nick Ritchie hitting a strong 55 at the top of the order to set up Dunsborough’s winning total of 201.
Chris Reagan (29), Danny Hatton on his debut for Dunsborough (25) and Josh Reagan (26) also spent valuable time in the middle. Hawks fast bowler Mat Kent returned exceptional figures of 6 for 25 to be his team’s best player.
Hawks batted into the 44th over as the shadows lengthened to notch 125 in reply, with both Shane Joyce and new arrival Paul Farmer hitting 23 runs.
Pete Morris (2 for 15 off 10 overs) and Adrian Graham (3 for 19) were Dunsborough’s best with the ball.
A hat-trick by Vasse captain Dean Ebert was the outstanding feature of the first round of B-grade cricket. Ebert took the wickets of YOBS batsmen Jack MacKinnon, Jacob Dipane and Cormac Smith with successive balls to become only the second bowler in club history for Vasse to take a hat-trick.
Vasse were easy winners, scoring 149 and then dismissing YOBS for just 71. Skipper Jamie Trewren took 5 for 20 for YOBS.
The closest game of the B-grade round saw Dunsborough (8-234) just outplay Hawks (9-212) at Dunsborough.
Cameron Morris for Dunsborough and Maurice Shinnick and Matthew Cox for Hawks all scored half-centuries. Cowaramup were too strong for St Mary’s in the remaining game, with Fraser Oates (42) leading a good all-round team effort by the winners.
B-grade results: Vasse 149 (J. Albury 54, D. Horncastle 29, D. Ebert 23, J. Trewren 5-20, J. Gilbert 3-45) b YOBS 71 (T. Payne 19, B. Kearney 3-18, D. Ebert 3-22, D. Horncastle 2-20).
Dunsborough 8-234 (C. Morris 51, C. Dudley 42, C. King 33, M. Lepidi 24, J. Stanbury 3-39, A. Robins 2-31) b MR Hawks 9-212 (M. Shinnick 77, M. Cox 52, M. Lepidi 2-27, R. Norrish 2-28).
Cowaramup 2-152 (F. Oates 42, K. Barrow 40no, R. Bramston 39) b St Marys 148 (J. LaMotte 43, T. Hartnett 33, T. Campbell 21, B. Shepherd 2-11, O. Herbst 2-24).