COWARAMUP were left to lament the one that got away when they suffered a close defeat at the hands of St Marys in A-grade cricket at the Cowaramup oval on Saturday.
For a while it looked like the Bulls would have something to celebrate at last, in their long-awaited first game at home for the summer.
After putting St Marys in to bat on a good track which offered his seamers some sideways movement, Cowaramup skipper Ben Shepherd had the visitors on the ropes at 5 for 55, with batting stars Ben Lloyd and Danny Hatton both back in the pavilion for ducks.
Jono Lloyd (31) and Ash Leaney (15) steadied the ship as they took Saints to 109, and then it was the unlikely pairing of Lewis Milligan (22) and Kevin Rice (23) who were primarily responsible for bumping St Marys’ total up to 168 all out – a total which was not out of reach for the Bulls by any means.
Kavy de Silva, Richard Bramston and Aaron Holben each captured two wickets apiece for Cowaramup to lead the way with the ball, while Ben Shepherd and Connor Oates also bowled economically.
Cowaramup’s reply of 1 for 64 at the 25-over mark in reply laid the foundations for a close finish, with Will Dawson scoring an impressive 41, but the Bulls’ hopes took a sudden nose dive when de Silva, batting at No. 4, skied his second ball off legspinner Joe Lowe to the safe hands of Peter Grygorcewicz at deep cover.
Lowe didn’t bowl a bad ball in his spell of 4-22, while Rice captured the highly-prized 5-20 with his medium-paced seamers as Cowaramup collapsed to 109 all out.
The first A-grade game of the season at Bovell Park saw YOBS continue on their winning way, with teenagers Ethan Piggott and Troyden Thorp being the key players in their side’s win over Dunsborough.
Dunsborough started in solid but unspectacular style with Aaron Mott hitting a steady 24 and Josh Reagan notching a fine 54 to get their side away well.
Miserly fast bowler Neil Langenhoven’s 10-over spell yielded excellent results with 2-15, while left-armer Matt Connaughton (2-31) and young Piggott’s off-spin (4-15) showed the depth and variety of the reigning premiers.
Skipper Ben Payne didn’t even bring himself on to bowl as Dunsborough collapsed from 4 for 90 to 113 all out in 31 overs.
YOBS’ top three of Harvey Golding (31), Nayton Colombera (25) and Troyden Thorp (41 not out) saw that the result was not in doubt as YOBS cantered home in the 24th over of their reply to win by seven wickets.
Josh Reagan was Dunsborough’s best bowler with 1-23, as well as being their best batsman on the day.
In B-grade cricket, YOBS were overwhelming winners over Dunsborough in the first B-grade game of the season to be played on turf, at the Dunsborough Playing Fields.
After restricting Dunsborough to 116 all out in 38 overs, YOBS responded with 1-122 in just 23.2 overs, with Jake Wain hitting an unbeaten 70, to win by nine wickets.
The other B-grade game saw Vasse defeat St Marys, and in the process overtake Saints to climb into second place on the ladder behind the unbeaten YOBS.
Scott Young continued his outstanding form with the ball for Vasse, with 4-19 to bring his tally of wickets this season to 17. Dion Horncastle also took 3-24 while Tom Perks was highly impressive in taking 1-6 off his full 9 overs.
YOBS 1-122 (23.2 overs) (J. Wain 70no, J. O’Malley 45no, I. Purcell 1-6) b Dunsborough 116 (38 overs) (C. Dudley 30, B. Christmas 28, C. Snow 2-3, J. Trewren 2-8, A. Logan 2-19, R. Gianola 2-25, J. Taylor 2-29).
Vasse 3-102 (19.2 overs) (M. Kammann 47no, A. Eades 37) b St Marys 101 (31.4 overs) (S. Young 4-19, D. Horncastle 3-24, T. Perks 1-6 off 9 overs).