WEST Warrnambool’s recovery after a batting collapse was pivotal in its 23-run win over Port Fairy on Saturday.
Panthers’ opening pair Matthew Fairhall (42 runs) and captain Alastair Templeton (49) put on 95 runs for the opening wicket, but three wickets in three balls – spread across two overs – saw them slip to 3-95.
But they steadied and went on to post 8-181, with Rhys Davies (46) also contributing in a big way.
“We regrouped, after a collapse, in the middle order. We had a good start and managed to get a collapse back into what I think was a tough score to chase,” Templeton said.
Pirates openers Jason Perera (31) and Aaron Williams (38) got the chase off to a strong start, but Will Templeton (5-22) led the charge as West Warrnambool claimed six quick wickets to leave the visitors reeling.
They were eventually bowled out for 158, with only Xavier and Andrew McCartney, who made 28 and 17 runs respectively, offering any real resistance.
Templeton said the Panthers “probably bowled a little more boring” to get the game back under control.
“Just being able to bowl to whatever field we had, rather than making it easy for them,” he said.
Celebrations for Brierly-Christ Church coach Nathan Murphy were somewhat muted after the Bulls fell just 15 runs short of victory against Wesley-CBC.
Sam McCosh (40 runs), Ryan McArdle (36) and James Walsh (21) underpinned the Beavers’ total of 9-126, with Bulls Bowlers Jacob Brooks, Bill Quinlivan and Murphy snaring multiple wickets.
Murphy, who was playing his 200th game, followed through with the bat, making 49 runs as Brierly-Christ Church posted 112 in reply.
“I was pretty frustrated because I got a start and was starting to hit the ball alright and just played what I’d call a soft shot,” he said.
“Wesley bowled pretty well and took their chances. It’s one we probably let slip when we were in a winning position.”
A shaky start saw Brierly-Christ Church’s lose three wickets in the first three overs, before things steadied for the 52-run fifth-wicket partnership of Murphy and Tom Kelson (21).
When they were gone, however, the task fell to some of the side’s youngest players to try to finish the job for the Bulls and, while they put up a good fight, Brierly was eventually bowed out for 158.
In other matches, Luke Wines smashed 86 runs as Woodford downed East Warrnambool-YCW by 91 runs, Allansford snuck past Merrivale with an over to spare and three wickets in hand.
Kyle Humphrys made 76 runs in Nestles’ seven-wicket win over Russells’ Creek, while a haul of 4-8 from bowler Dustin Drew was a highlight in Dennington’s 64-run win over Nirranda.