Silver Slugs secure first win of season against Bunnan as Blues fall to Rouchel

RISING TALENT: Cooper Gageler has continued his progress as a player in the 2019/20 campaign.
RISING TALENT: Cooper Gageler has continued his progress as a player in the 2019/20 campaign.

THE 2019/20 season has already delivered a feat no Muswellbrook club managed to achieve last year - a victory against a non-local side.

This came at the weekend as the Silver Slugs secured a win against Bunnan, chasing down their opponent's score with 8 wickets in hand.

It represents yet another step forward for the Brooks, with the Blues picking up a win against the the Slugs earlier this year - a moment to celebrate given it had been 743 days since their last win.

The youth in both sides are beginning to shine at senior level with 13-year-old Cooper Gageler even captaining the Slugs during the T20 magic round earlier in the season.

As a result the teams currently occupy seventh and eight place on the ladder, with the Blues in the higher position, and shape as a difficult task for opposition squads, especially on home turf at Weeraman Fields.

It was at that ground that Silver won on Saturday, where the bowling and batting line ups combined for a quality performance, restricting Bunnan to 115 and surpassing that total in 20 overs.

They only lost two wickets in that pursuit, largely thanks to an unbeaten 54 by Jack Mann and solid 38 by Shaun Wilkins.

However the bowlers deserve much of the credit for taking the pressure off the batters before they even made their way to the crease.

Campbell Schmierer was crucial to the win, taking 4 for 15, while Wilkins and captain Jarrod Watts snared the other six wickets.

Watts and Mason Solly were on top form in the field, taking four catches and a run out between them.

They will face a tough battle this Saturday though, as they travel to take on top-placed Belltrees, who themselves enjoyed a victory this week over local rivals Bushrangers by a margin of 8 wickets.

Brook Blue had a less successful week as they made the dreaded trip to face Rouchel at Boyd Oval in the Bill Rose Sports Complex.

Losing the toss and having to bowl first, they conceded 206 runs in 40 overs, with Steve Clydsdale showing his class during a 49 run innings.

The Muswellbrook side faced an uphill battle to even get close, especially given an incredible spell by Lachlan Cheshire in which he picked up 4 wickets for just 5 runs.

Jimmy Kane was best for the away side with the bat, making 23 not out while club president Peter Cooper took figures of 4 for 20 with ball in hand.

Andrew Reynolds claimed 3 wickets, which will go some way towards making up for his duck as opener.

He wasn't alone in that category though, as Alexander Armstrong, Josh Cooper, Bayley Carter, Dom Cooper and Peter Turnbull all failed to trouble the scorers.

They will have a chance to redeem themselves this weekend though, as they host the struggling Bushrangers at Weeraman.

Going around the grounds, Merriwa continued their perfect start to the title defence with a two wicket win over the Belmore Bulls, Murrurundi suffered an 8 wicket loss to the travelling Aberdeen side and Souths had the bye.