Albion consolidated its position on top of the Gunnedah District Cricket competition, accounting for Mornington by 80 runs at Longmuir Fields last weekend.
In the other competition fixture, Kookaburras notched their third victory of the season after winning by four wickets to topple Court House’s total of 79 runs at Wolseley Park.
At Longmuir, Albion won the toss and elected to make first use of the wicket, but lost opener Andrew Osmond in the second over of the match.
Nick Herring made the initial breakthrough and had his second wicket shortly after to leave Albion precariously placed at 2/39 after eight overs.
Although losing his first two partners, opener Damien Baldwin counter attacked for Albion and was able to put away the loose balls when presented by the Mornington attack.
Joined by James Mack, Baldwin continued in his aggressive play and their partnership consolidated the setback of early wickets to wrestle back momentum for Albion.
Their third wicket partnership progressed the score to 2/60 after 10 overs, as Mack and Baldwin continued their six-an-over scoring rate and dealing primarily in boundaries, taking the score by the 20-over drinks interval to 2/137.
Baldwin notched his half century after the interval and proceeded to 66 until picking out the fielder on the boundary off the bowling of Mornington off-spinner Josh Langdon for a rapid innings that included nine boundaries and two sixes.
Mack continued and although Albion lost three wickets in three overs, Baldwin and Mack’s partnership of 113 had set the platform for Albion to seek quick runs in the latter overs of their innings.
Mack departed for a well-made 47, making it 6/178 with 10 overs remaining as captain Ash White was joined by Jakob Vearing at the crease for the seventh wicket.
White and Vearing took the attack to the Mornington bowlers – Vearing in particular was savage against the spin bowling and Albion at one stage was in danger of being bowled out for under 200.
Vearing and White’s partnership averted that danger, putting together a brisk 48 for the eighth wicket to boost the score to 230 until White was dismissed for 20.
Although not completing their 40 overs, Albion players set Mornington a daunting task, thanks to key partnerships throughout their innings culminated by Vearing’s cameo – crucially for Albion remaining not out 32 and enabling Albion to set Mornington 241 for victory.
Best of the Mornington bowlers was Herring with 2/37 and Henry Johns also claimed 2/23 in the latter stages of the innings.
Mornington’s chase started in the worst possible fashion as opening bowler Ash White took the wicket of Henry Johns in his first over, bringing Ryan Smith to the crease.
Smith played some sublime strokes all around the wicket, taking the attack to the Albion bowling in a counter attacking display of strokeplay.
Smith kept Mornington in the chase keeping the scoreboard in check with the required run rate, until on 33 and the score on 64 in the 10th over, he was dismissed by Albion opening bowler Jono Crowe.
That opened the door for Albion to attack one end as opener Justin Carter remained defiant at the other end – Carter was losing wickets around him and by the 20-over drinks interval Mornington players found themselves struggling to keep up the momentum Smith’s innings had garnered and were 5/107.
Carter began to lash out after the break, flaying boundaries around the ground to give Mornington a sniff towards the later part of the innings.
He blasted his way to a well-compiled half century and continued to take the attack to the Albion bowling on his way to 77 until he was the second last man dismissed by Crowe.
His wicket signalled the end for Mornington and they were eventually bundled out in the 29th over for 181, with wickets for Albion taken by off spinner Mitch Herden with 3/51 and Crowe finished the tail to take best figures (3/47) for the match and Albion.To order photos from this page click here