Towering St Pat’s Old Boys quick Matt Fearnley admits his side “had no idea what to expect” leading into Friday night’s Royal Hotel Cup opener at Wade Park, which makes the Bathurst-based outfit’s effort in pummeling Centrals all the more impressive.
After producing a dogged effort with the bat to fight back from 3-7 to eventually post 6-111, the Saints rolled through Centrals and skittled the red and blacks for just 33 in reply.
Or rather, Ethan Ivory and Scott Traves did.
The pair combined to take nine of Centrals’ 10 scalps, the former finishing with stunning figures of 6-10 and the latter taking 3-10.
“We thought we could defend 120. We just needed to back ourselves with the ball but with 111 we did take a different mindset out there in the field,” Fearnley explained.
“Part of the reason we’ve got Jameel (Qureshi) in as a marquee player is for him to guide us through in this form of the game, his message was the take the pace off the ball and we did that.
We thought we could defend 120. We just needed to back ourselves with the ball.St Pat's Old Boys' Matt Fearnley
“Scotty Traves never opens the bowling but he did a great job and then Ethan finished them off. We had no idea what to expect, so picking up a win like that is great for the confidence moving forward.”
Fearnley also heaped praise on Nic Broes and Bailey Brien, the two youngsters resurrected the Saints’ innings after they lost stars Connor Slattery (0), Adam Ryan (0) and Qureshi (1) early in the piece.
Broes finished with 55 not out and Brien made a vital 29, they combined for 62 for the fourth wicket and pushed their side back into a respectable position.
“Full credit to those two, to finish with 111 after being 3-7 was a good effort and it basically comes down to those two, they did a great job,” Fearnley said.
The Royal Hotel Cup continues this week with the second of pool A’s games, when perennial powerhouse Lithgow takes on Kinross on Friday night.