Mixed fortunes for young Warrnambool teams at under 15 Country Week

WARRNAMBOOL and District Cricket Association endured contrasting results on the opening day of Horsham under 15 Country Week.

Warrnambool Gold opened its account with a convincing 48-run win against Horsham at Sunnyside yesterday.

But Warrnambool Blue suffered a first-up defeat, losing by four wickets to Wimmera-Mallee at Coughlin Park.

Gold coach Andrew Thomson said he was pleased with his players’ efforts on a wicket which made playing straight essential.

Gold reached 5-155 batting first, thanks to 57 from opener Charlie Locke and 56 from Liam Brown at number four.

The teens put on 65 for the third wicket, helping their side capitalise after a slow but steady start.

Horsham, in reply, was all out for 107 having slumped to 6-34 after 24 overs. Liam Brown, 2-16, and Brody Couch, 2-12, were the best bowlers.

“We’re happy with the result,” Thomson said. 

‘‘The guys put value on their wicket and played very straight.

“The wickets we lost were attributed to playing across the line. 

‘‘The wicket was slow and you had to play straight.

“Charlie Locke was exceptional, he probably batted 30 overs, he was the glue that held us together and we batted around him.” Gold shared the wickets around and created pressure with the ball, which sparked the match-defining collapse.

“Liam Brown was ace, he bowled quick — he’d be the quickest up here for the week, he’s a weapon for us,” Thomson said.

“He got those couple of crucial wickets. 

‘‘From there the runs dried up and it was a matter of bowling line and length and staying to a plan.

“To get them all out when they’re just trying to survive was a great effort. In terms of the week, it sets us up.”

The win ensures Gold is in control of its own destiny, but Blue must rely for things to go its own way after its loss.

Blue made 143 batting first, recovering after slumping to 2-1 and 3-17. Jack Knight finished unbeaten on 40 and Will Scriven reached 20.

Wimmera-Mallee reached the target six wickets down before hitting out in the last five overs to finish on 8-179. Callum Dunn took 3-16.

“They (Wimmera-Mallee) played good cricket but we were under par,” Blue coach Brian Dennis said.

“We were 2-1 and 3-17. 

‘‘To get to 143 wasn’t a bad effort. 

‘‘We had our chances, we had them 2-1, exactly the same.

“But they got a couple of good partnerships — 60 for the fourth wicket killed us and there was another 60 for the fifth wicket.”

Warrnambool Gold will seek to keep its winning momentum against Wimmera-Mallee at Coughlin Park today.

Warrnambool Blue takes on South West, which had a bye yesterday, at Sunnyside.

Hamilton and Portland also have sides at the tournament, which continues until Friday.

afawkes@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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