RUGBY Union began its Bathurst District Cricket Association first grade title defence in emphatic fashion on Saturday when posting a six-wicket victory against St Pat’s Old Boys.
A solid performance with the ball at Scots saw the Saints all out for 160 – a total Rugby eclipsed with six overs still in hand.
Given Rugby had to wait until round five last season to post its first win, Saturday’s result was certainly welcomed by skipper Sam Macpherson.
But it was more than just the win against a side many are expecting to challenge for the premiership that pleased Macpherson. It was the way Rugby went about it.
Though he’d have liked to see less than the 19 wides, Rugby was good in the field, hung onto catches – including a Jameel Qureshi caught and bowled – and the side’s new recruits in Brad Glasson and Pirenu Nirmalendran were solid.
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“It was a good game, just a few too many wides. We took our catches, which is usually unheard of at this time of season,” Macpherson said. “Pirenu and Glasso are great inclusions to the club. Glasso batted extremely well, patient and hit the loose ones.
“All bowlers who bowled were great, especially Powelly and Pirenu. Thackers [Jeremy Thackeray] didn’t get a wicket, but 0-23 off eight overs is outstanding.”
Last season’s grand finalists the Saints won the toss and elected to bat first on Saturday.
They made a reasonable start as Nic Broes and Ben Mitchell put on 21 for the first wicket, but Luke Powell soon turned things in Rugby’s favour.
He removed Mitchell (five), skipper Adam Ryan (five) then Connor Slattery (two) in the space of four overs as Pat’s slipped to 3-33. Powell finished with 4-32 off eight overs.
While Broes (37) – who hit 111 in last season’s opener against Rugby – and Bailey Brien (39) provided some resistance, wickets continued to fall whenever a partnership threatened.
Some late hitting from number nine Brendon Cutmore (24 not out) got the Saints beyond 150, but their tally of 160 was always going to be hard to defend.
While the Saints claimed four victims before the score ticked over to triple figures, Glasson (45 not out) and Macpherson (48 not out) guided Rugby home.
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