FOR just the second time in the last eight seasons, Rugby Union is celebrating three consecutive wins to start a Bathurst District Cricket Association first grade campaign.
On Saturday afternoon at the Sportsground as Rugby posted a commanding eight-wicket win over the previously undefeated Bathurst City with eight overs still in hand, it emulated the efforts of early 2014.
Jeremy Thackray emphasised why Bathurst District selectors rewarded him with a spot in their opens squad he returned an impressive all-round performance, but he was not the only player to do a job for Rugby.
Rugby’s bowling attack as a whole rallied after Redbacks openers Ben Orme and Joey Coughlan made a good start to their innings.
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After losing their first wicket in the 11th over with the score on 53, Redbacks slipped to 7-107 and were eventually all out for 152.
Rugby lost just two wicket in chasing down the total and becoming the only side yet to taste defeat in the one-day portion of the draw.
“They got off to a good start and I thought we many be in for a long day, but Tyler Horton and Jeremy Thackray got the breakthrough and from there we tightened up the runs,” Rugby skipper Sam Macpherson said.
“Pirenu [Nirmalendran] bowled well again until being taken off, which hurt our bowling stocks a bit. Yousuf Qureshi also bowled one of the tighter spells I’ve ever seen.
“Thackers got us off to a flying start [in the chase] and from there Alby [Chris Albon] and Imran [Qureshi] showed their class and did an outstanding job for the team.”
Redbacks won the toss and elected to bat first on Saturday and Orme soon had the scoreboard ticking over.
He belted three sixes and another three boundaries, but in the space of three overs the momentum changed.
Firstly Thackray bowled Coughlan (16), then Horton struck with the fifth ball of his first over to send Orme on his way for 39.
Nirmalendran bowled number three Mark Day (two) cheaply before he had to be replaced, but Yousuf Qureshi kept the pressure coming.
He removed the dangerous Aditya Adey for two with his third delivery and went on to finish with 2-11 off his eight overs.
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Though Redbacks’ number eight Michael Tobin (29 not out) rallied, Rugby’s attack struck frequently. Aside from the opening stand, nine overs was the longest a partnership lasted.
Macpherson claimed 3-29 off five overs as he helped finish off the tail, while Thackray (1-29) and Horton (1-20) were good in their eight overs.
Thackray got the chase off to a good start – hitting four boundaries in a quick-fire 30 – before falling to Clint Moxon, and from there Albon and Imran Qureshi took control.
They put on 108 for the second quick and while Qureshi fell to Dene Rice for 47, by then the damage had been done. Albon (66 not out) and Horton (two not out) saw Rugby reach the required total in the 32nd over.