Gale-force winds and driving drizzle did not deter the hardy cricketers from the Busselton-Margaret River Cricket Association from playing their games on Saturday, as YOBS recorded their opening win of the A-grade season at Bovell Park.
In a game which went the distance until it became nearly too dark to play, YOBS were dismissed for 189 on the stroke of their 50 overs, and then restricted Dunsborough to 161 all out in 47 overs to win by 28 runs.
At Barnard Park, where the wind was particularly brutal, St Mary’s kept their unbeaten record intact this season under young skipper Kurt Davis with a comfortable eight-wicket win over Cowaramup. Players appreciated the new mercy rule, which allowed them to end play as soon as the result was known, rather than finish the overs out in bad weather.
Most of the bowlers managed remarkably well in the tough wind, although Cowaramup’s opening bowler Will Dawson started the St Mary’s innings in unlucky fashion with a taxing 12-ball over.
At Bovell Park, former skipper Nayton Colombera continued his strong early season form for YOBS with 50 runs against Dunsborough, assisted by 16-year-old Troyden Thorp (34) with his third big contribution with the bat in as many weeks.
Players in the BMRCA got their first look at West Indian fast bowler Riccardo Small-Boyce for Dunsborough. Small in stature, the allrounder bowled with impressive pace in his first appearance in Australia and returned 1-28 from his nine overs.
Evergreen allrounder Danny Hatton was the pick of the Dunsborough attack with 4-17 off seven overs, while young Lachie Milton also fared well with 2-33.
Dunsborough suffered a two-over penalty for slow over rates and were on the back foot early in their chase, losing top batsmen Aaron Mott, skipper Chris Reagan and Danny Hatton all in single figures.
At 7-105 it looked like an easy win for YOBS, before Small-Boyce (33 not out) and James Courtney-Bennett (34) hit out strongly for Dunsborough to give the game a good finish.
Neil Langenhoven (1-13 off 10 overs) and captain Ben Payne, who had 3-19 off his first nine overs before being hit for 17 off his final over, were head and shoulders the pick of the attack for YOBS.
At Headquarters on the beach, St Mary’s fielded three players from Lancashire, with Jon Fenton just arriving in the country to join Ed Moulton and Joe Lowe. Between them they took seven wickets against Cowaramup, Moulton (3-14 off 8 overs) once again proving to be more than a handful for the local batsmen.
Legspinner Lowe and 16-year-old Lewis Milligan each took two wickets in the space of three balls for Saints.
Yorkshireman Ryan O’Sullivan (26) batted with determination at the top of the order for Cowaramup against the strong Saints attack, while Fraser Oates (52) was cool and classy as the Bulls tallied 149 all out.
A century opening stand between Marc Ford (38) and Jono Lloyd (63) paved the way for a comfortable win for Saints, Lloyd ultimately sacrificing his wicket as Saints failed by the narrowest margin, with scores level after 40 overs, to gain two bonus points for their win.
YOBS 5-154 (45 overs) (M. Braid 38no, J. Wain 26, T. Payne 25, E. Piggott 25, J. Trewren 20, J. Hills 3-48) b St Marys 129 (37.3 overs) (M. Miller 47, J. Bennison 18, K. Spowart 3-21, J. Mewett 3-28, J. Trewren 2-26).
Dunsborough 5-98 (27 overs) (C. King 19no, N. Whitney 17, B. Kearney 2-26) b Vasse 95 (27.1 overs) (M. Gould 18, G. Snow 16, R. Norrish 3-13, M. Lepidi 2-10, J. Pes 2-25).
MR Hawks 2-147 (34 overs) (A. Robins 66no, J. Shinnick 56) b Cowaramup 9-145 (45 overs) (R. Bramston 55, A. Wilson 20no, J. Stanbury 3-38, R. Silva 2-8, K. Dittmar 2-14). For photos of the weekend’s cricket action visit busseltonmail.com.au.