North 227 (Hack 74*, Vella 30, Jurd 27) defeated South 143 (Ali 34, Howard 3/6, Hall 2/10) by 84 runs

 With the Bulldogs already claiming the minor premiership position, the Alma Oval clash against the Roos this last weekend played host to an eventual blue and white victory.

With some describing it as attritional, the game did its absolute best to go the distance, with Bulldog’s captain Hack winning the toss and electing to bat.

In what was dubbed ‘the bat off,’ it was the in-form Martin and the under-fire Bomford who took to the pitch in an attempt to open North’s account.

Bomford was in desperate need of runs, but once again Nick Christos disturbed the woodwork and sent him back to the sheds without scoring.

Martin, relishing the opportunity to cement his opening position, capitalised to the full extent, effortlessly timing the ball to all parts of the ground. The seasoned veteran looked every bit the classy batter, as the onlooking crowd applauded this maestro of the game with every shot played.

Jurd wasted little time reminding all of his dangerous presence with an array of lusty blows to and over the boundary rope. He fell victim to a tempting Sebastian delivery which saw him caught for an impressive 27 from 34 deliveries. This brought young gun Austin Wilson to the crease but  unfortunately for him he was trapped on the pads and judged LBW first ball and so North teetered at 3/49.

Luke Hall joined Martin in an effort to stabilise the innings. The pair combined beautifully in ticking over the scoreboard. That was until a complete mix-up between them saw Martin run out in comical circumstances for an exceptionally made 19 runs. Martin, despite his questionable athletic prowess, certainly played an innings of vital importance, and was unlucky to not amass more.

Cricket however is a funny game, with karma playing its hand whenever it sees fit. Martin’s departure saw his great friend Jordan Vella join Hall in the middle. Again, the pair continued to pile on the runs, until Hall felt the sting of a run out, as Vella hurried him through for a risky single, with Hall caught short of his ground for 10 runs.

This finally brought to the crease captain Tobias Hack, who had found a run of impeccable form following his representative duties last month. Hack and Vella clocked up 47 runs together before the latter was trapped LBW for a well-made 30 runs.

Howard joined Hack in the centre in a further 63-run stand. Each were in incredible touch, dispatching the tiring South bowling to all parts of the ground in a powerful display of batting dominance. Howard fell for 24 off the bowling of Christos, with Cain being dismissed in similar fashion a short time later for two runs.

Young gun Rhys Pitt took to the crease in his debut innings for the blue and white and while he demonstrated some rock-solid defence, he was bowled without scoring.

Returning club legend Nash Mitchell joined Hack for the final wicket stand, but was unfortunately run out without scoring to see Hack finish on 74 not out, and North all out for an impressive 227.

North took to the field to defend the score and wickets appeared difficult to come by, with a relatively simple chance being grassed by the usually reliable hands of Jordan Vella in the first over off the bowling of Cain.

Cain eventually had his revenge, bowling Matt Gray a short time later as he departed for 10.

Nash Mitchell took the next scalp, removing the dangerous Paul Nicholas for eight runs, thanks to some sharp catching work by Vella at gully.

At this point the game began to slowly wind down and trench lines were drawn on either side. Wickets were difficult to come by, and runs hard to find.

Then Hall reinvigorated proceedings, claiming the two wickets of Sebastian and Morgan each LBW, to finish with impressive figures of 2/10 from his four overs.

Looking all the more a club veteran with every passing day, Codie Howard ran rampant through the middle and lower order of South to claim figures of 3/6 from his four overs.

With a bowled and LBW already in his wicket bag, it took some sharp movements at square leg from Riley Bomford to take the catch to get him to three wickets.

In a special moment for all to witness, Rhys Pitt shone, taking his first A Grade wicket and leaving  South 8/126, with Austin Wilson taking the catch.

Next onlookers were treated – or punished – to an over of chaos from BL Martin, with captain Hack attempting to source a new leg spinner come finals. Martin treated the crowd to an array of beautiful leg breaks, full tosses, half trackers, wides, and of course, no balls.

From the dizzying heights to the pitiful lows, Martin for all of two seconds thought he had his first A Grade wicket, with the batter chopping onto the stumps, only for umpire Apps to scream “NO BALL” and cruelly deny this seasoned campaigner a well-deserved wicket.

Jurd would finally be rewarded with a wicket a few overs later seeing South 9/138, and with one wicket remaining, captain Hack abandoned the gloves and decided it was time for him to have a roll for the first time in six years in Broken Hill cricket.

Deceiving the batters with flight, drift, and spin, Hack produced one of the best full toss wide deliveries you would see, with wicketkeeper Luke Hall removing the bails to have the batter stumped and deliver an ultimate 84-run victory to the Bulldogs.

Be sure to tune in next week for the final round game of the season, as North do battle against old foe West at Alma Oval.


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