South Queensland Country representative fast bowler Nathan Van Eekeren continued his sensational form, claiming a rare nine-wicket haul, then top scoring with 48 for his club Norths on Day 1 of their Bundaberg Cricket Rum City Foods Division 1 Premiership two-day showdown with Brothers at Salter Oval on Saturday.
But after being bundled out for a paltry 154 in the 40th of their allotted 85 overs, Brothers picked themselves up off the canvas and salvaged some pride by bowling Norths out for 182 in 52 overs on the brink of stumps with 14-year-old paceman Lachlan Heycox also covering himself in glory, bagging 5-37 from 12 overs
Meanwhile, Queensland Country incumbent tearaway Arden Lankowski also snared a five-wicket haul, taking 5-45 to be the main destroyer for East Bundy Magpies against Waves, who were dismissed for a competitive 210 in 56.1 overs, but then bowled themselves into a winning position, having the Magpies 6-83 at stumps after they had been reeling at 6-33.
Brothers won the toss and surprisingly elected to bat but were soon in trouble as wickets tumbled with Nathan wreaking havoc, and at 6-29, they were on the brink of obliteration, but their former Tallon Medal winner Sam Pearson and fellow bowler Andy Porter led a fightback with 59 and 35 respectively in a 91-run partnership.
But Nathan returned to remove both in quick succession, and while Jackson Rehbein came in and added 24 runs, Nathan also ended his stay, then also dismissed tail-ender Harry Kuorikoski to complete his route.
Lachlan Heycox then took the new ball for the Brethren and took the first three wickets, firing out Norths’ South Queensland Country batting ace Brendan Handley and fellow Wide Bay Open representatives Chris Nappe and Josh Winen, and when Sam Pearson stepped up to the plate and grabbed two wickets including their other batting trump Blyton Pendergast, Norths were also teetering at 5-41.
But Norths’ depth came to the fore, and they took a first-innings leading, led by Nathan, who again oozed class before falling two runs shy of a deserved half-century, and Louis Macdonnell and Shannon Smith with 31 and 33 respectively.
Lachlan Heycox returned to pick up two more wickets, but Norths took the honours, and with a 28-run advantage on the first innings, they are well placed to push for outright victory when the match is scheduled to conclude this Saturday.
Meanwhile, Ryan Norton, Adam Pozzebon and Jayden Larsen led the Waves’ charge with 59, 48 and 36 respectively, but the reigning premiers were on track for a much larger team total before suffering a collapse of 6-22, as Arden snuffed out their lower order, in tandem with spinner Tom Kidd, who snared 3-18 from five overs.
Waves openers Mitchell Waters (2-28) and 18-year-old emerging quick Lachlan Modrow (2-14) then made early in-roads with the ball, before first change Ryan Norton chimed in with 2-11, including the big scalp of Arden.
But captain Dale Steele and Trent Seeds (37 not out) combined in an unbroken partnership of 50 to keep them in the contest, albeit with still a further 128 runs required.
All other Bundaberg cricket was washed for the weekend, along with all scheduled Coral Coast/Hervey Bay Softball fixtures.
Regular Hooker Aloisia Sebualala, playing in a new position at Loose-head Prop, continued his superb form, notching another double in a signature superb all-round performance as West Barbarians white-washed Turtles Brothers 42-0 in their Rugby Bundaberg Elders Insurance Spring Cup last-round duel at Jubilee Park on Friday night which was also a dress rehearsal for their semi-final rematch this Saturday.
Meanwhile, in the much anticipated battle for fourth position and the last semi-final berth, East Bundaberg Pythons toughed out a 19-15 victory over Waves Falcons, but they paid the ultimate price for incurring three yellow cards and one red card for the match, being penalised the four points which they were awarded for the win, while Falcons picked up one bonus point for losing by less than seven points, putting them into the semi’s, with East Bundaberg missing out.
Pythons assistant coach Victor Nio said that Jackson Paulson was again their Man of the Match, but that it was “shattering” for them to miss out in such a way despite finishing the season with two wins to Waves’ one.
“With previous points deductions, we were already behind them on points, but to be stripped of four points alone on Friday was a bitter pill to swallow – the boys fought hard to finally have two wins back-to-back, but it all means nothing now, and good luck to Falcons,” Victor said.
Falcons captain/coach Tommy Akers said it was not the way they wanted to qualify for the finals, but now they are there, he is determined to serve it up to minor premiers Fraser Coast Mariners in the sudden-death match this weekend.
Meanwhile, Barbarians coach Gary Maroney lauded a “dominant win” with Leka Hiva their Man of the Match, ahead of Tight-head Prop Bruce Ikamanu, who continued his white-hot form, and Wame Serukaitoga.
“We outplayed Turtles in all departments, but there is still room for improvement in our squad, and we can’t take anything for granted this week – we have to keep players focused on what's been working, improve on our short-comings, and remain positive within the camp,” Gary said.
Here are the scores:
RUM CITY FOODS DIVISION 1 PREMIERSHIP
Day 1 of 2-day round:
BROTHERS 154 (Sam Pearson 59, Andy Porter 35, Jackson Rehbein 24, Nathan Van Eekeren 13.3-3-42-9) v NORTHS 182 (Nathan Van Eekeren 48, Shannon Smith 33, Louis Myers-Macdonnell 31, Lachlan Heycox 12-4-37-5, Sam Pearson 7-1-29-2).
WAVES 210 (Ryan Norton 59, Adam Pozzebon 48, Jayden Larsen 36, Arden Lankowski 15-1-45-5, Tom Kidd 5-0-18-3) v EAST BUNDY MAGPIES 6-83 (Trent Seeds 37no, Ryan Norton 6-2-11-2, Lachlan Modrow 6-1-14-2, Mitchell Waters 15-5-28-2).
RUGBY BUNDABERG ELDERS INSURANCE SPRING CUP
WEST BARBARIANS 42 (Aloisia Sebualala 2, Pita Loketi, Pita Halafoou, Tevita Tufunga Sinoti, Phillip Lindsay, Maka Taliauli tries; Maka Taliauli, Andrew Filo conversions; Maka Taliauli penalty) d TURTLES BROTHERS 0.
EAST BUNDABERG PYTHONS 19 (Trent Seeds, Jarrod Johnson, Bennett Ooms-Otineru tries; Jackson Paulson 2 conversions) d WAVES FALCONS 15 (Sealing Fonua, Essakaia Mataka tries; Tommy Akers conversion & penalty).
Ladder: Fraser Coast Mariners 31, West Barbarians 23, (+146), Turtles Brothers 23 (-36), Waves Falcons 6, East Bundaberg Pythons 4.
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