After some close matches in previous rounds, New Norfolk I recorded its second victory of the season with a hard-fought two-wicket win over Claremont at Abbotsfield Park at the weekend. The home side had first hit, making the good score of 5/217 off its 50 overs. In reply and with one over remaining, the Red Caps dug deep, hitting the winning runs off the first ball, finishing 8/220. Late in its innings and looking shaky, New Norfolk had been 7/160 until number nine batsman Joe McCulloch made a match-winning 41no to give his side a much needed victory. McCulloch hit four fours in a great display of determined batting. Earlier, opener Jake King got the team off to a good start with a well-made 44, hitting five well-struck boundaries while Stewart Rice made a quickfire 39, clubbing seven fours and one six. Earlier with the ball, Seb Wishart was the main wicket taker with 2-32 (10).
Gretna I had excellent nine-wicket win over Richmond/Cambridge at Gretna. After bowling out the visitors for 165 off 47.5 overs, Gretna chased down the runs and finished 1/169 off 19 overs. This was thanks to some excellent batting from openers Ben Rainbird, 75 runs, and wicket keeper/batsman Glenn Blackwell 50no. Just like old days, the pair put on a 154 run stand setting up a big victory for the team. Rainbird hit a match-high 10 fours while Blackwell reached the boundary on seven occasions. Rhys Browning remained 8no (two fours). With the ball for Gretna, Corey Ransley continued his good form sending down 9.5 overs taking 4-35. Aaron Maddox did his usual bit, taking 3-25 (10), while Craig Cunningham took 2-30 off 8 and Daniel Browning 1-22 (8).
In the other second grade match, Molesworth I had a good four-wicket win over Old Beach at Old Beach. The home side won the toss, elected to bat and made 8/191 off its 50 overs. In reply, Molesworth finished 6/194 off 40.4 overs. Batting at first drop, Sam Triffitt top-scored with 44 hitting two fours. Brad Coppleman also did well with 40 (five fours, one six) while Nick Piuselli remained 33no (three fours, one six) and earlier, opener Josh Ransley made a quickfire 23 hitting five fours. With the ball for Molesworth, Larry Menzie took 3/57 (10) while Brayden Hodge 2-14 (2) and captain Jamie Adams 2-24 (10) and Josh Ransley 1-27 (7) were the other wicket takers.
This Saturday in second grade Molesworth I and Gretna I will play for the Ben Eyles Memorial Trophy. The match will be played under lights on the Boyer Oval starting at 2pm, so come along for what should be a entertaining match.
Bothwell I had a 56-run win over Hobart at Bothwell. Batting first, the Bucks were 5/83 then a 124-run stand from Brad Eyles 60no and Nathan Eyles 56no got the home side to 5/207 off its 50 overs. Earlier Michael White made 38. In reply, Hobart was bowled out for 151 off 38 overs. Mathew Glover was the best of the Bucks bowlers taking 3-25 off six overs. Matthew Eyles was very tight with 2-11 (5) as were Brodie White 2-16 (6) and Brock Nichols 2-23 (7).
In the other fourth grade match, Bushy Park defeated Gretna II by four wickets at the Bushy Park Showground. The home side won the toss and sent Gretna in to bat. At drinks after 17 overs they were 2/65 but from here the wheels feel off and they were bowled out for just 97 off 32.4 overs. Bushy Park's opening bowler Troy Smith had plenty of pace and bounce to finish with the great figures of 5-27 off his 10 overs. Spinner Nick Fenton also had a good day with the ball taking 4 for just 11 runs off 6.4 overs. Dylan Grant 1-14 (6) also did well. For Gretna, opening batsman Luke Wheeler played well for 24 (one four) before he injured his shoulder. Luke Crosswell again batted well making 21 (one four). In reply and chasing the bonus point, Bushy Park finished 6/99 off 16.5 overs. Captain Shaun Fenton top-scored with 27 and opener Troy Smith made 26. Ben Triffett's 14 was handy while Geoff Crosswell remained 14no. For Gretna, and after being taken to early, Zac Crosswell fought back to take 2-36 (6) to be the main wicket taker, while Adam Browning was very tight with 1-4 (3). Both clubs have had great matches in the past and this game was played in good spirits and it was great to see both sides have a few ales and yarns after the match.
In the match between New Norfolk II and Derwent, New Norfolk took the points due to Derwent forfeiting.
Molesworth II lost by nine wickets to Dynnyrne at Boyer Oval. Batting first, the home side was bundled out for just 36 off 21.1 overs. The only player to reach double figures was Josh Nichols with 14. In reply the visitors chased down the small target, finishing 1/37 off nine overs. Karl Mallinson was the wicket taker with 1-10 (2).
New Norfolk III played at Weily Park where they recorded a six-wicket victory over the home side. Batting first, the Rockers made 10/107 off 39 overs. Red Caps bowler Mitchell Rice had a good spell, taking 3-30 off his 10 overs, as did Brad Kemmler with the fine figures of 2 for just 8 runs off eight overs. Jake Bearman finished with 2-23 (6) while Andrew Challander bowled well 1-9 (4). In reply New Norfolk chased down the runs off 25 overs, finishing 4/110. Opening batsman Jye Bearman continues to impress this season making a superb 67no. The youngster hit eight fours and one six in what was a match winning performance. Cody Neads remained 11no (one four, one six). Keeper/batsman David Mitchelmore made 11 also.
After last week's tied game in eighth grade, Bothwell II travelled to Runnymede and again had a close one. The home side won the toss and made the defendable total of 7/214 off its 50 overs. In reply Bothwell gave it a good shake, but fell six runs short, finishing 10/208 off 43.1 overs. Batting at number eight, Nathan Eyles tried his hardest, making 46. Shayne Wood made 34 and Stuart Eyles 29.
With the ball for the Bucks, Mark Pearce was the main wicket-taker with 3-54 (10) while Stuart Eyles bowled tightly taking 2-17 (6).
Results for the Round 8 eighth grade match between Bothwell II and Old Beach were not available in time for last week's report but turned out to be very interesting to say the least. After making 147 with the bat, Bothwell was looking down the barrel of defeat with Old Beach 5/143 and cruising to an easy victory. Enter part-timer Crag Davey who had only bowled three overs for the season so far. He took 4 for 3 off one over to have the visitors reeling at 9/146. Stuart Eyles bowled the next over and on his third ball captured the last wicket to give what seemed an unlikely one run victory to an excited Bothwell team. But more was to follow. With the books tallied up, an extra run was found and the game ended in a tie! Just goes to show with our great game of cricket, no matter how far behind you might be, you are never out of it... or are you?