The first two-day round for the season has finished with two big run chases nearly being completed while some clubs got some valuable bonus points.
At Gavenlock Oval, a disciplined Narara Wyoming side were successful in defeating Northern Power in a low scoring affair. After being 4-19 at stumps, the Power knew they needed just one big partnership to get them the win. However, the Lions bowling attack, led by Kyle Jordan, had other ideas taking wickets at regular intervals and bowling the Power out for 75. Jordan was the standout taking five wickets with Keiran Lawson and Andy Ryan also chipping in with two each. With bonus points on offer, Narara Wyoming went out to bat and toiled away to be 6-103 at the close of play gaining themselves 7.5 points for the round. Peter Cross was in fine touch scoring 36 while for the Power Chris Archer continued his excellent season finishing with three wickets and helping the Power also gain half a bonus point.
In another low scoring bout, Kincumber Avoca grabbed the all-important final wicket to claim first innings points against Terrigal Matcham. With the Bellbirds needing 8 runs for victory and the Griffins one final wicket, it was Rob Lavery who stood up grabbing the last one and first innings points. With plenty of cricket still to be played, Kincumber went out to bat and batted for 44 overs, declaring at 7-162. Skipper Dan Heuston scored a classy 38 while bowling all rounder Dylan Robertson starting to find form with the bat, scoring a patient 34. Josh Bridge was a workhorse bowling 22 overs from one end taking six wickets. The Bellbirds went out to bat looking to gain some extra points and were batting well before losing 3-1 in the middle overs and moving the game into the Griffins favour. But the reliable Reece Bombas and Dante Otto steadied the ship, taking the outright defeat away and finishing the innings 7-112. Bombas finished with 37 while youngster Dylan Booth impressed with the ball again taking three wickets. The Griffins claimed 8.5 points for the game while the Bellbirds captured two themselves.
Over to Baker Park where Warnervale almost did the unthinkable, nearly chasing down Wyong’s imposing 343. The Wildcats knew that needed someone in their top five to make a big score and that man was Brett Russell. Russell made the most of batting on the beautiful Baker Park wicket hitting the Wyong bowling attack to all parts finishing on 124. He was well supported by Joey Liddle with 45, Tony Cornwall with a hard hitting 44 and Chris Harper being the not out batsman at the end with 35. With the run rate increasing and smart captaincy by the Roos, Warnervale were bowled out for 308. Young Michael Leard was the pick of the bowlers taking 4fa while skipper Mark Leard claimed two. Six first innings points to Wyong while Warnervale still walk away with a point.
In the final match of the round, ladder leaders Lisarow Ourimbah were put through a massive scare narrowly defeating Southern Spirit by 27 runs. After getting two early wickets, the Magpies were feeling confident continuing their winning streak, but Mitch Fiddock and Lachlan Cork dug in and made the most of their chances putting on 100 for the third wicket. It was the reintroduction of Matt Jones that broke the partnership, bowling Lachlan Cork for a well made 54. Fiddock continued on his merry way combining with Lachlan Bull to add another 73 for the fifth wicket and bringing up his hundred along the way. Needing 63 runs with 13 overs to go, it was game on but a change of bowling bringing the experience heads of Scott Burkinshaw and Ben Sunshine into the attack, taking 4 wickets between them for 14, including the prized wicket of Fiddock for 118, wrestled momentum back into Lisarow’s advantage. Despite some lusty blows late, the Spirit were bowled out for 247. Matt Jones and Ben Sunshine were the pick of the bowlers taking three wickets each. The Spirit claimed a point for the loss but will take confidence in pushing the Magpies all the way to the end, while Lisarow Ourimbah breath a sigh of relief and remain on top of the table.
At the end of the round, Lisarow sit on top while The Entrance, who has a bye this week, sit second, Kincumber third and Narara rounding out the top four. Defending premiers Wyong were the big movers rising from seventh to fifth.
A big last round before Christmas sees Narara hosting Wyong, Lisarow Ourimbah travelling up to Northern Power, Southern Spirit taking on Kincumber Avoca and in the match of the round, The Entrance and Warnervale lock horns. Terrigal Matcham have the bye.
LADDER: Lisarow Ourimbah 90.7%, The Entrance 60.6%, Kincumber Avoca 59.8%, Narara Wyoming 50.0%, Wyong 43.8%, Warnervale 43.5%, Northern Power, 42.7%, Terrigal Matcham 34.9%, Southern Spirit 20.9%