Albion continued its unbeaten run in Gunnedah District cricket at the weekend, accounting for Court House while Kookaburras continued its winless start to the season when defeated by Mornington.
Continuing the scheduling of back-to-back T20 fixtures, Mornington batted first having won the toss against Kookaburras, as Kookaburras struck the first blow.
Opener Henry Johns was dismissed caught behind off Ateeq Ur-Rahman with four on the board in the first over, bringing in form bat Richard Avendano to the crease to join Mornington captain Justin Carter.
Although suffering the set back of an early wicket, Carter and Avendano began to wrestle momentum back in the favour of their side.
They put on a partnership of 61 in 10 overs, until Carter chanced his arm once too often and was dismissed by Shayne Riordan, bowled for a brisk 25.
Avendano continued in an aggressive form until he was undone by Callum Urquhart, also bowled but not before compiling a well-made and team-high 40 runs to leave the score 3/84 after 14 overs.
Kookaburras bowlers were able to stem the runs, somewhat, with steady wickets in the latter overs of the Mornington innings, as Mornington batsmen attempted to lash out in the latter overs in pursuit of quick runs to boost their total.
Riordan picked up his second wicket, and together with Troy Sands, were miserly in the death overs as Riordan finished the only multiple wicket-taker for Kookaburras with 2/16. Sands took 1/17 bowling at the death to go with Ur-Rahman and Urquhart as the wicket-taker for Kookaburras.
After batting out the 20 overs, Mornington finished 5/110 with the backbone of the innings the 61-run partnership of Avendano and Carter combined with late innings runs from Andrew Johns with 11 not out and Ben Hennessy the other batsmen to reach double figures.
Like Mornington, Kookaburras also lost an early scalp in their batting innings.
With 10 runs on the board, Lachie Straney removed opener Tim Kelly for eight in the third over, and fellow Mornington opening bowler Nick Herring removed the other Kookaburras opener, Jayden Winsor.
As Kookaburras’ number three bat Riordan was run out in the ninth over, they were behind the required rate and at 3/38, looked destined to wither away in the chase.
Troy Sands arrived at the crease to give the Kookaburras’ innings some life, pouncing on anything loose from the Mornington attack.
He combined with Paddy Paul for a 25-run stand until Paul was dismissed, caught on the boundary for 17, hitting out at Avendano’s off spin.
Sands continued to keep Kookaburras in the chase, but a steady flow of wickets meant they ran out of overs, gallantly falling short by nine runs to finish 9/101 after the 20 overs. Sands was last man dismissed for 25 to signal the end of the run chase.
Avendano was the only multiple wicket-taker for Mornington with 2/15, while Herring, Straney and Tim McDermott all claimed a wicket each to contribute to the Mornington victory.
In the other match, Court House took on Albion looking to break Albion’s winning streak early in the season.
Winning the toss and batting first, Albion captain Ash White opened the batting and took to the Court House attack with a blistering 21 runs at the top of the order.
The introduction of Court House pacer Ben Irwin put the brakes on the Albion onslaught, picking up three wickets in three overs to combine with Braithen Winsor, who also claimed a wicket to leave Albion 4/51 off 10 overs.
Winsor picked up his second immediately after and Albion’s innings was precariously placed at 5/51.
James Mack joined Curtis Ellis at the crease, as they were cautious early in attempting to rebuild the Albion innings.
Ellis was particularly savage on anything over-pitched, blasting numerous strokes down the ground while Mack rotated the strike to his partner.
They combined for a sixth wicket 42-run partnership, until Mack was dismissed, caught behind off the bowling of Roy Peatling for 14 in the 15th over.
Ellis remained though and in the closing stages of the innings became ultra-aggressive attempting to boost the final total.
He did just that, scoring 45 not out lifting Albion’s total to 7/125 after their 20 overs.
Irwin was the best of the Court House attack with 3/12, while Winsor claimed 2/22 along with Peatling as the other multiple wicket-taker with 2/23.
Needing more then a run-a-ball in pursuit of the target, Court House’s reply started in positive fashion as openers Jye Hicks and Jaycob Price took the attack to the Albion opening bowlers.
Hicks raced to 18 before he attempted one attacking stroke too many and was bowled by Matt Lindsay.
Hicks’ dismissal started a steady collapse of wickets for the Court House batting, as Lindsay’s opening bowling partner Travis Oakley took a wicket and first-change pacer, Andrew Osmond, took two in his first two overs to leave Court House 4/55 after 13 overs.
The introduction of spin suffocated the Court House lower order which struggled to find the boundary to fall behind the run rate required to reach Albion’s total.
Off spinner Mitch Herden took the spoils for the Albion attack, with his 3/11 off two overs, combined with a wicket to James Mack concluding the Court House innings on 80 in the 19th over.
Osmond took 2/10 and Mack 2/21 as the other multiple wicket-takers for Albion, completing the 45-run victory for Albion to remain unbeaten so far this season.To order photos from this page click here