Muswellbrook Blue loses thriller as Silver struggle in Upper Hunter District Cricket round 12

BRINGING HEAT:  Lachlan Watts tried his best with a quickfire 80 at the weekend, in scorching conditions at Highbrook Park.
BRINGING HEAT: Lachlan Watts tried his best with a quickfire 80 at the weekend, in scorching conditions at Highbrook Park.

AFTER losing the Muswellbrook derby before the Christmas break, the Blues were looking to recover for their first win of the season and came agonisingly close in a one wicket loss against Bunnan.

Making 107 batting first, the travelling Brooks side were always up against it with the opposition having scored over 300 runs more than them this season.

But it was far from easy, the Blues were superb with the ball and had Bunnan on the ropes after three wicket hauls from captain Peter Turnbull, youngster Andrew Cooper and star pace bowler Josh Cooper, who almost dragged his side across the line with a stunning hat trick.

With the game set to be a clear cut victory for the home team, J. Cooper dismissed opener Matthew Langan, middle order batsman Curtis Strong and tail-ender Brady Roser in consecutive deliveries to give his team momentum and hope.

Ultimately, the game ended in elation, confusion and then relief for Bunnan after catching the score, being told to play on by the umpire in case the score sheets had any indiscretions, and then losing their last wicket the very next ball.

It made for a somewhat nervy review of the books before the win was given the all clear, in the meantime highlighting the importance of making sure scorers actually know what they’re doing.

Unfortunately for the Muswellbrook side, they left the ground essentially feeling they’d lost by a delivery which was absolutely painstaking, but they will hope to convert that frustration and bowling form into a win next week against the Belmore Bulls.

Silver had a much less exciting day, getting comfortably beaten by Belltrees, who caught the home side’s score of 140 with 8 wickets in hand.

It could’ve been an even more embarrassing loss had Lachlan Watts not made a thoroughly impressive 80 for the home side, before getting dismissed by Will Osmond, who took 3 wickets on the day.

Things started well for Brook Silver with the ball, with Campbell Schmierer removing opener Ben McRae for a duck, but they enjoyed little enjoyment after that, taking just one more as the sweltering heat had a sapping effect on energy.

Although it didn’t seem to be effecting Hayden Quinlivan’s batting abilities, as he smashed his way to 52 alongside partner in crime Chris Simpson, who added 51 of his own.

This leaves both Brook sides in a tough position to make the lower table finals, with only six games remaining in the season.

Going around the grounds, Murrurundi comfortably defeated Rouchel,  Bushrangers claimed a six wicket win over Aberdeen and Belmore Bulls, perhaps mercifully, saw their match against top-of-the-table Merriwa washed out.