Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Hay hold Creet Cup in a nail-biter

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West Wyalong’s senior cricket team travelled to Hay on Sunday in the hope of wrestling the Creet Cup away from Hay.

Winning the toss and batting the Hay openers Dean Aylett and Liam Whitbourne got off to a steady start getting the total to 18 before Dean was caught behind in the ninth over.

Simon Bunyan was quick to follow hitting a catch to gully to see Hay in early trouble.

Rupert Lilburne combined with Liam for a short period to get Hay to 38 before Rupert was caught at point cutting just before drinks in over 15.

After drinks Liam got a leading edge and fell in over 17.

At 4 for 47, Jack Cattanach was joined by Kazi Islam and the two of them commenced a vital partnership seeing Hay get to 103 at the end of over 30 with no further loss of wickets.

Looking at a big score at drinks, Hay missed the opportunity, with Kazi caught at short fine leg for 28, straight after drinks, and then Jensen Hargreaves followed soon after.

A small partnership between Jack and Tom McGufficke got the score to 128 before Jack was trapped LBW for 48, with eight overs remaining.

The tail did not kick on however with wickets falling consistently to see Hay bowled out in the second last over for 144.

A defendable total on a slow outfield but probably a few less than would have been expected from over 30.

In reply, West Wyalong made steady early progress but Rupert Lilburne ripped through one of the openers to bowl him and then got the other one caught behind with the score on 20 in the ninth over.

At drinks West Wyalong were two for 38, similar to Hay’s total but with two extra wickets in hand. Simon Bunyan struck immediately after drinks removing Jesse Hampton a very good bat to bring Hay back into the game.

He then struck five overs trapping the batsman LBW with the score on 54, but West Wyalong continued to gather in the total.

Jack Cullen, West Wyalong’s No.4 bat, was doing all the scoring and was able to find the boundaries with some big hits while his partners just held an end up. Isaac Gardiner was introduced in the attack and struck in over 27 to bring a vital wicket prior to drinks.

At drinks West Wyalong was five for 111 but with 15 overs left they only needed a little over two runs an over to win.

The score continued to move forward but with the total on 121, Isaac Gardiner lured Jack Cullen into a big drive and Liam Whitbourne took an excellent catch at deep mid-off to remove the danger batsman and keep the contest alive.

Momentum then moved back to West Wyalong as they got the score to 135, needing only 10 runs with four wickets in hand and nine overs left. At that point a short ball from Isaac was pulled behind square leg where Dean Aylett took a great catch diving forward to remove a key batsman.

Isaac then struck again in the same over to see West Wyalong eight down. Jack Cattanach joined the attack and bowled a maiden as the tension built.

Needing two wickets to win Hay was working hard but West Wyalong was able to navigate another over of Isaacs scoring three runs to get within six runs of a win.  

The first three balls of Jack’s over went for three singles, but the fourth ball clean bowled the batsman.

As the last batsman came to the crease Hay needed one wicket to hold the Creet Cup and West Wyalong needed three runs to win.

The crowd did not have to wait long for an outcome as the very next ball from Jack was hit straight up to mid-on where Dean Aylett’s safe hands took the catch and the Hay boys had run out winners by two runs in a great game of cricket.

In a crazy, exciting finish Hay had taken the last four wickets for seven runs to get the win by only two runs and keep the Creet Cup in Hay for another two weeks.

Sunday March 3 sees the last Creet Cup challenge, with Ardlethan/Barellan the side standing in the way of Hay holding the Creet Cup for the season and making history as the first undefeated Hay side in 28 years to win the Creet Cup. Hay 144 all out (J Cattanach 48, K Islam 28, L Whitbourne 21, T McGufficke 11) defeated West Wyalong 142 all out (I Gardiner 4/25, J Cattanach 2/16, R Lilburne 2/20, S Bunyan 2/25).

The Riverine Grazier 21 February 2024

This article appeared in The Riverine Grazier, 21 February 2024.

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