Court House secured a nail-biting four-run victory against Mornington in round six of Gunnedah District Cricket over the weekend, while Albion continued their winning start to the 2023/24 season by dismantling the Kookaburras by nine wickets.

In back-to-back T20 fixtures at Kitchener Oval, Court House batted first and was under immediate pressure from the outset. With the first delivery of the match and the innings, Nick Millar clean bowled Jaycob Price, providing the worst possible start for Court House.

Millar was on a roll for Mornington, and having bowled his four overs on the bounce, dismissed two other Court House batsmen, leaving their innings in tatters at 4/15.

Ben Hennessy, at first change, was a perfect foil for Millar, bowling a consistent and patient line and length, claiming two wickets for himself and Mornington. Like Millar, Hennessy also bowled his four overs unchanged, leaving the Court House innings in a dire state at 7/43 after 11 overs.

In need of an innings resurrection, Ken Walters and Kate Gander steadied the Court House batting effort with a partnership of 52. Astonishingly, Gander contributed two runs, while Walters took the attack to the Mornington bowlers. While Gander dropped anchor at one end, Walters blasted his way to 67, remaining unbeaten by the innings close as Court House bolstered their total to 8/129 off 20 overs.

Thanks largely to Walters’ innings, Court House held the ascendancy, although Mornington openers Justin Carter and Josh Langdon set about the run chase positively.

Langdon was the main aggressor, stroking his way to 30 before being undone by Braithen Winsor, leaving the score at 1/43 after the first six overs. As Mornington was well on track, Carter remained the focal point of their innings but did lose two more partners in Lachie Straney and Nick Millar, the latter scoring a brisk 24 runs.

The introduction of spin from Sam Doubleday brought about Millar’s downfall, but the match and run chase were in the balance for either side as Mornington was still 30 runs in arrears after 15 overs at 3/99.

Also bowling off-spin, Brad Gander was introduced into the attack and became the difference between the two sides.

Incredibly, what looked to be a comfortable run chase for Mornington, Gander spun his side to victory, claiming 4/9 off three vital overs and, in the process, wrapping up the Mornington innings, falling short of the Court House total to be bowled out for 125.

In the other match, Albion was ruthless against a Kookaburras side that barely put the competition leaders under any pressure. Batting first, Kookaburras were immediately in trouble as opening bowler Andrew Osmond claimed the wicket of Kookaburras opener Jayden Winsor LBW.

Opening the bowling at the other end, Curtis Ellis joined Osmond in the wickets as he had Shayne Riordan dismissed caught, leaving Kookaburras at 2/8 after four overs. Osmond continued to cause havoc for the Kookaburras, with his next two wickets of Tim Kelly and Steve Keeler, both bowled, restricting Kookaburras to 4/12. They never recovered, and although struggling their way to be all out for 50, were up against it.

Osmond claimed 3/7 off his four overs, but it was off-spinner James Mack who took the spoils for the Albion attack, claiming 4/9 off four overs.

Although losing an early wicket, Albion cruised past the Kookaburras’ total, as opener Cameron Waugh blasted a rapid 24 not out to secure the nine-wicket victory for Albion, which remains unbeaten through six rounds of the Gunnedah cricket competition.

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