AN UNBROKEN 10-wicket partnership of 20 between Matt Kent and Peter Crimp gave Margaret River Hawks a thrilling one-wicket victory over Cowaramup on Saturday to complete their first win in the Busselton-Margaret River Cricket Association’s A-grade competition in two seasons.
In a see-sawing contest, Cowaramup looked headed for victory after batting first and making 163 – a total which included a brilliant 90 off 65 balls by Kavy de Silva with 12 fours and four sixes – and then restricting Hawks to 9-143 in return, before Crimp and Kent came together for their unlikely match-winning stand. Hawks started the game in style with excellent catches by Kade Dittmar at mid-wicket and then a one-hander by Brad Kelly off his own bowling, as Cowaramup struggled to get going. Kelly, a newcomer to Hawks, impressed with three wickets in two overs as the Bulls were restricted to 6-52 at drinks. The Bulls were saved from a sub-100 total by de Silva, the reigning Cricketer of the Year, who smashed the ball around in typically brilliant fashion. He was assisted by Kye Barrow (24) in a seventh-wicket stand of 105, which comprised 64 per cent of the final total. Hawks embarked on their quest to make 164 with a solid first-wicket stand of 52 between left-hander Shane Joyce (31) and Grant Garstone (27). Kelly completed a fine all-round performance with 39 runs at No. 3 while David Holmes and skipper Paul Tognolini contributed 22 each to set up the exciting finish. De Silva (two wickets and three catches) and his Sri Lankan teammate Buddhika Sanjeewa (3-14 off 10 overs) gave Cowaramup every chance of winning the game, but their teammates were unable to finish the Hawks off when it mattered.
At Barnard Park, a rare achievement in Busselton-Margaret River cricket was accomplished when St Marys opener Jono Lloyd carried his bat for a chanceless 66 not out in his team’s total of 125 all out against Dunsborough. The last time an opener carried his bat in local A-grade cricket was believed to be more than 20 years ago. Lloyd has been in exceptional form this season, hitting 53 not out, 63 and now 66 not out for an average of 182. Aside from Lloyd, the outstanding performer in the game was Dunsborough quick Riccardo Small-Boyce, who was very slippery in a 9-over return of 4-26. He dismissed Marc Ford (caught at gully) with the third ball of the game and was chiefly responsible for restricting Saints to 125 all out. Skipper Chris Reagan returned a tidy 3-16 with his offspin to also play a valuable role with the ball. Dunsborough knocked off the required runs inside 33 overs, thanks to 20s from Nick Ritchie, Matt Jamieson, Josh Reagan and Phil Watts.
In B-grade cricket, teenager Ethan Piggott returned miserly figures of 2-6 off nine overs as YOBS restricted Dunsborough to 92 all out on the turf at Bovell Park. YOBS won the game with five wickets to spare in 21 overs, Tait Spowart hitting 31. At Cowaramup, Vasse overpowered the home side by scoring 185 with Murray Gould (64) topping the score. Connor Barrett-Lennard starred with the ball for the Bulls by taking 5-40. Cowaramup scored 142 all out in reply. At Margaret River, St Marys made light work of chasing Hawks’ total of 146, winning the game by seven wickets inside 24 overs. B-grade results: YOBS 5-98 (21.2 overs) (T. Spowart 31, H. Colombera 23no, M. Cooper 3-22, S. Henry 2-22) b Dunsborough 92 (39.1 overs) (B. Christmas 29, B. Danaher 28, T. Spowart 2-4, E. Piggott 2-6, M. Braid 2-12). Vasse 185 (39.3 overs) (M. Gould 64, M. Lee 33, D. Horncastle 25, C. Barrett-Lennard 5-40, O. Herbst 2-23) b Cowaramup 142 (41.3 overs) (S. White 59, K. Coates 36, B. Kearney 4-17, S. Shepherd 4-22, D. Horncastle 2-17). St Marys 3-150 (23.4 overs) (C. Roberts 57, D. La Motte 57no, C. Baker 2-44) b Marg River Hawks 146 (36 overs) (M. Earl 61, J. Shinnick 24, C. Wrigglesworth 22, M. Snaddon 3-5, J. Bennison 2-21, A. Balkin 2-32).