Mornington continued its impressive run of form in Gunnedah district cricket, defeating Albion by 39 runs at Kitchener Oval last Saturday.
In the other match of the round, Kookaburras were comprehensively defeated by competition front runners Court House by seven wickets at Wolseley Oval.
Winning the toss and electing to make first use of the wicket, Mornington batted their 40 overs to post 7/177, in return restricting Albion’s batting and bowl them out for 138.
Mornington openers Henry Johns and captain Justin Carter set the tone for their side’s innings, navigating the new ball period with ease, seeing off the first 10 overs without loss for 39 runs.
Their crucial 69-run opening stand formed the backbone of the innings and they were particularly aggressive on anything short from the Albion bowlers, maintaining a four an over scoring rate.
Johns was the main aggressor, registering four boundaries and six in his innings, while Carter rotated the strike through singles during their partnership.
Albion hit back though to break the opening stand in the 16th over when on 29, Johns scooped a cover drive to be caught off the bowling of Travis Oakley and break the opening stand.
Carter, also caught off a lofted drive, was removed an over later by Cameron Waugh as Mornington lost two quick wickets, but Ryan Smith and Aaron Condrick steadied the innings into the 20 over drinks break with the score at 2/79.
Smith and Condrick settled into a neat partnership during the middle overs of the innings, remaining patient in their vigil and picking off the loose ball when presented by the Albion bowlers.
Their partnership of 48 progressed the score to 117 by the 28th over until Smith was undone by a skidding delivery, bowled by Damien Baldwin for the loss of Mornington’s third wicket.
Condrick remained defiant and was joined by Richard Avendano, as Condrick began to hit out in the last 10 over period.
Although it brought about his downfall for 28, Avendano was then joined by Rhyce Kliendienst for the fifth wicket, with Kliendienst making his aggressive intentions clear.
He took 12 off a single over in a brisk 13 until bowled by Baldwin, but the urgency of the closing stages of the innings from Kliendienst propelled the score to 150.
Avendano batted through to remain 17 not out, and crucially saw Mornington complete the allotted 40 overs, registering an above par score of 177.
After registering the best of Albion’s bowlers figures with 3/30, Baldwin turned his hand to the batting and began the run chase in scorching fashion.
Baldwin peeled off 29 in the space of four overs, including five boundaries and a six, until the introduction of fast bowler Kliendienst.
Baldwin was undone by a Kliendienst leg cutter in the eighth over with the score at 1/34, igniting an Albion top order collapse.
With Kliendienst, opening bowler Ben Hennessy proved difficult to navigate as he took two wickets in an over to put the skids on the Albion chase, reducing them to 3/38 by the 12th over.
At 4/44 and then 5/61 by the 17th over, the Albion innings was in damage control as Kliendienst picked up his second and third wickets.
Kliendienst and Hennessy in tandem had ripped the top order out, with Kliendienst finishing with figures of 3/22 and Hennesy 2/27.
Lachie Straney then chimed in after the 20 over drinks break to take his first and his side’s sixth wicket and at 6/84 the game was well and truly in Mornington’s control.
Daniel Head blasted a quick fire and game high 35, followed by a cameo from Ash White in the tail with 34 that gave Albion a flicker of hope, but Straney mopped the tail to finish with 4/44 and in the process put the game to bed for Mornington – Albion bowled out by the 29th over for 138.To order photos from this page click here