AS the first 20 overs of the Bathurst District Cricket Association first grade season for Centennials Bulls unfolded at Loco Oval on Saturday, Andrew Brown thought his side was headed for a loss.
Fortunately for Brown, who has taken over from Josh Toole as captain this season, things improved from there and his side went on to defeat City Colts by 38 runs.
“It wasn’t looking very good at one stage,” Brown said. “It was looking like we weren’t going to get to four o’clock at one stage, but Bill [Watterson] and Scott [Jablonski] played patient at the start and then cashed in at the end.”
Before number seven Watterson and number nine Jablonski launched their fight back, it was Colts who were on top.
The dangerous Toole fell for nine in the second over to Jacob Bogunda, who went on to bowl Brown for six soon after.
Bogunda, who finished the match with five wickets, continued to cause the Bulls top order headaches. In the eighth over he dismissed talented all-rounder Aaron Seymour off his own bowling to make it 3-31.
Matt Stephen snared Ryan Gurney the next over and from there Bulls slumped to 7-66 in the 19th over.
Watterson (67) and Jablonski (31) finally stopped the collapse and managed to help Bulls to a defendable 181.
Aside from Bogunda’s impressive haul, Dan Casey picked up three wickets while Dave Rogerson took two freak catches at long on, one of them to dismiss Watterson.
“With 180 I thought if we could take a couple of early wickets, a couple of key wickets, we’d be in with a chance and that’s what we did,” Brown said. “Everyone chipped in with the ball. They had a couple of big overs with 10 or so off it, but then there were other overs when they only got one, so the run rate never got away from us.”
In the chase Jaden Ekert (48) and Mitch Colley (32) were good for Colts, but Henry Shoemark (15) was the only other player to reach double figures as they were all out for 143.
Toole was impressive as he claimed 4-31 off 7.4 overs, while Seymour took 2-19 off eight tight overs.