In Gunnedah District Cricket’s second fixture at the weekend, Court House batted first against Kookaburras at Wolseley Oval and opening batsmen Kyle Gallen set the tone from the outset.
The Court House batsman had the scoreboard ticking along at four runs an over, but Kookaburras opening bowler Shayne Riordan extracted the key wicket, Gallen’s fellow opener Dom Barnes in the fifth over.
Riordan kept the pressure at one end and was rewarded with the wicket of Gallen for 26 – after 10 overs, Kookaburras kept the Court House score in check at 2/38.
Bailey Keeler was introduced into the attack at first change with immediate effect, taking the key wicket of number three bat Keaton Walters and in conjunction with off spinner Jayden Winsor, Kookaburras had stunned Court House, reducing them to 7/67 by the 20-over drinks interval.
Court House could only manage a further 12 runs to their total after the break, as Riordan was reintroduced into the attack to take his third wicket for figures of 3/14, ably supported by Keeler with 3/25 and Winsor the other multiple wicket taker with 2/11.
Set the modest total of 80 for victory, Kookaburras were shaky early and Court House made the early inroads needed to defend their total, restricting Kookaburras to 4/27 inside the first 10 overs.
Court House opening bowler Braithen Winsor took the first wicket but fellow opener Peter McCormack was the chief destroyer taking three early wickets.
Coming off an unbeaten 46 the week before, Paddy Paul was the key wicket for Court House as he was joined by opening bowler turned top order batsmen Riordan at the crease.
Their partnership of 38 steadied the innings after the earlier set backs, but Gallen through his off spin trapped Riordan in front and by the 20-over drinks break the match was evenly poised with Kookaburras 5/53.
Steve Keeler joined Paul at the crease, and while Paul was aggressive in pursuit of the target, Keeler dropped anchor in their sixth wicket partnership, playing the perfect supporting role for Paul.
Paul was the key and exemplified that fact, all but steering Kookaburras home in the chase by striking a priceless 30, until dismissed on 74 with only six runs for victory.
Keeler peeled off the remaining runs needed and Kookaburras, although shaky early, resurrected their chase to complete victory by four wickets, despite the efforts of McCormack who finished the best of the Court House attack with 3/19.To order photos from this page click here