YOBS climbed to the top of the table in the battle for the Yates Shield when they overcame the previously unbeaten St Marys in an outstanding contest of A grade cricket at Barnard Park on Saturday.
Saints looked to be in with a great chance of extending their winning run after reaching 8-199 from 50 overs after they had first use of a great wicket, only to see YOBS overhaul the target with three wickets and 3.5 overs remaining.
The day saw 400 runs scored on a track which showed no signs of wear – an encouraging aspect for the new home of cricket at the beachfront.
A steady hand of 37 by Joe Lowe at the top order anchored the Saints innings after Danny Hatton had no hesitation in batting first. Sensible batting from his team-mates, including Ben Lloyd (33), Hatton (23) and Jono Lloyd (36), culminated in a swashbuckling unbeaten 25 from Peter Grygorcewicz as Saints made the most of their last 10 overs.
Offspinner Ethan Piggott, with 2-30 from 10 overs, was the most impressive bowler in the YOBS line-up, while left-armer Matt Connaughton conceded only 10 runs from his seven overs.
Saints were cock-a-hoop when seamer Pete Morris penetrated Harvey Golding’s defence with the third ball of the YOBS reply, and when Ben Mattock had Nayton Colombera caught behind several overs later, the Blues were well and truly on top.
Troyden Thorp (42) and Ben Clarke (28) steadied the innings, and new face James Dawson showed a cool head to score the only half-century of the day, 56 off 76 balls, to steadily put YOBS in a winning position. Ultimately it was Haig Colombera with a typically hard-hitting 29 not out from 34 balls who got YOBS across the line.
Hatton, with 3-35, was Saints’ best bowler, while Grygorcewicz (1-26 off nine overs) was the most economical.
Down at Margaret River, the Hawks continued their resurgence under stand-in skipper Mat Kent when they thrashed a depleted Dunsborough.
Batting first on a track devoid of grass, Hawks amassed a highly respectable 7-192 from 50 overs with left-hander Shane Joyce (57) leading the way. Grant Garstone (27) struck the ball with typical disregard for his wicket.
Dunsborough were dealt a blow late in the Hawks innings when Ricky Small-Boyce, after taking 3-32, suffered a nasty hand injury while fielding at long-on and went off to hospital.
Hawks paceman Aaron Thomas decimated the Dunsborough top order with 3-25, including skipper Nick Ritchie for a first-baller, as the middle-order collapsed and the visitors were ultimately routed for 64 in just 19 overs.
Two high-scoring matches were played on Saturday, with Hawks scraping home against Dunsborough at Dunsborough and YOBS beating St Marys with just one ball to spare at Barnard Park. Tait Spowart and Jake Grylls led the way for YOBS while Pete Mason and Ben Crain were best for St Marys, while Michael Earl with 48 and 3-20 enjoyed a great double for Hawks.
On Sunday, Busselton-Margaret River were comprehensively outplayed by the WA Invitational XI in the final preliminary game of the Country Cup competition at Stevens Reserve.
B grade results – YOBS 6-182 (44.5 overs) (T Spowart 46, T Payne 40, R McDonald 34, B Crain 3-26) b St Marys 181 (44.2 overs) (P Mason 29, J Perks 27, A Leaney 25, J Bennison 23, K Barrow 20, J Grylls 3-26, J Trewren 2-19, J Mewett 2-33).
MR Hawks 186 (M. Earl 48, J Lawrance 39, D Morris 26, M Broun 25) b Dunsborough 169 (M Earl 3-20, J Stanbury 3-25).
Country Cup – WA Invitational XI 6-283 (50 overs) (H Colombera 3-58) b Busselton-Margaret River 154 (42.2 overs) (M Ford 28, J Lloyd 25, D Hatton 22).
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