Albion continued their winning streak in Gunnedah district cricket when they defeated Kookaburras last weekend, while Mornington prevailed over Court House in a final-over thriller.

In their match against Mornington, Court House won the toss and elected to bat first at Kitchener Oval but were immediately under pressure from the first ball of the innings.

Mornington opening bowler Lachie Straney trapped Court House opener Jye Hicks in the first ball of the innings and in Straney’s next over, he had Court House’s other opener Jaycob Price caught, leaving Court House in early strife at 2/19.

At number three, Keaton Walters attempted to counter attack and scored a brisk 165 runs, but when he was undone by first-change medium pacer Jack Hayes, Court House slumped to 3/30 inside the opening six overs.

In desperate need of a partnership, Court House’s middle order batsmen Sam Doubleday at number four and Adam McGuirk at number five, gave their side’s innings the initial solidarity required.

After an initial period of consolidation, Doubleday began to take to the bowling, particularly the spinners, hitting four sixes and two fours on his way to 42.

Despite the aggressive attack from Doubleday, Mornington off-spinner Richard Avendano wheeled away persistently, eventually breaking the 64-run stand between Doubleday and McGuirk in the 13th over of the innings when dismissing Doubleday caught.

Despite the fourth-wicket partnership being broken, McGuirk carried the team through to the 16th over.

Eventually he was dismissed for a well-constructed 46 runs by the re-introduction of Mornington opener Rhyce Kliendienst, with the Court House score on a healthy 6/133 after 17 overs.

Despite the onslaught from McGuirk and Doubleday during the middle overs, Mornington impressively fought back and restricted Court House to 7/147 at the completion of the 20 overs.

Mornington’s batting innings followed a similar pattern to Court House, showing signs that the run chase could come down the wire.

Court House struck two early blows, dismissing openers Justin Carter and Ryan Smith, both caught off the bowling of Peter McCormack albeit with a healthy run rate at 2/31 after four overs.

At number three, Josh Langdon belted a quick 16 before he was caught off the bowling of Braith Winsor, and at the loss of Avendano for no score, Mornington were in a spot of bother at 4/39 after six overs.

That became 5/60 after nine overs as McCormack took his third wicket, but vitally for Mornington number four bat, Henry Johns, was the anchor and key to their side’s chances.

Joining forces with Kliendienst, they formed the partnership to enable them a chance of victory but upon reaching 50, Johns was caught off the bowling of Doubleday to swing the momentum back in the Court House favour.

At 6/105 after 15 overs, Mornington required better then a run-a-ball in pursuit of the target – thankfully, they had Kliendienst still at their disposal.

Following John’s dismissal, Kliendienst threw caution to the wind, proceeding to dominate the Court House attack, blasting four sixes and dragging his side back into the contest.

Kliendienst was the difference between the two sides, his 54 not out causing the damage as he and Andrew Johns saw their side home in the final over of the match at 7/149 with a ball to spare.

In their perfectly timed run chase, Mornington solidified second spot on the competition ladder.

Competition leaders Albion again showed why they should be considered front runners, keeping their winning streak intact by disposing of Kookaburras.

Batting first, Kookaburras were steady from the outset, but Albion opener Andrew Osmond did the damage with the new ball and picked up three quick wickets in a four-over unchanged spell.

That spell earned him figures of 3/13, which bent the back of the Kookaburras batting line up.

Although suffering the early setback of Osmond’s spell, Kookaburras did manage to string together partnerships through the middle overs, thanks largely in part to number three batsman Jayden Winsor.

Despite losing two partners during his vigil, Winsor all but carried his bat for the remainder of the Kookaburras’ innings for a team-high 34 runs, but his side couldn’t muster any late order momentum.

Despite an unbeaten 11 from Alex Seach, Kookaburras were restricted to 6/90 after their 20 overs.

Albion made quick work of the run chase, firstly through Damien Baldwin who struck a quick 15, but was dismissed caught behind. That only brought number three Cam Waugh to the crease, who was particularly savage on the spinners. Despite Waugh’s dismissal for a bludgeoning 26, Albion cruised to victory inside 10 overs to finish 2/92, consolidating their position undefeated on top of the competition ladder.

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