Chapman Valley-Northampton to play Geraldton men’s cricket finals as Routledge, Dawson shine vs Sportsmans

Victor TantiGeraldton Guardian
Nigel Routledge has found form at the right time.
Camera IconNigel Routledge has found form at the right time. Credit: Reuben Carder/Geraldton Guardian

Chapman Valley-Northampton will play men’s finals cricket for only the second time after a historic win on Saturday.

A 51-run win for the Valley Rams over Sportsmans secured them the last Geraldton Bendigo Bank Cricket League finals spot, one of the biggest moments in the club’s 13 years.

A big task awaits Wanderers in the preliminary final,, but for now they can enjoy making the cut.

Sportsmans’ Riley Barham won the toss in the game, which was moved from Nabawa to Wonthella, and bowled, while CVN made a turgid 9-127 because of a sluggish outfield.

Only Nigel Routledge (42) was fluent in a hand worth more than face value.

Hayden Dawson (23) also worked hard before he was bowled by Aaron McAuliffe, who made a welcome return to cricket, and there were handy last-wicket runs from Patrick Walsh (15 not out).

Brad Roworth (4-19) shone with support from Clint Yeates (2-21) who had Routledge, chasing a wide ball, caught by Barham.

Sportsmans found 13 unlucky in the reply, losing three wickets at 13 ,with Zac Williamson (3-6) taking them in the space of 10 balls.

Barham (18) dug in but was bowled by Bobby Gibson (3-20) who also shifted Dave Russell and McAuliffe. Walsh (2-26) bowled Yeates in a key moment, and Sportsmans kept losing wickets to be all out for 76.

“The outfield was slow so we felt 127 was more like 150, and Williamson bowled well and, after his first wicket, at good pace,” CVN captain James Billing said.

“Gibson was also effective and Walsh, as always, did his job, and isn’t flustered if he gives away a boundary.

“Routledge has found form at the right time of year — he’s probably disappointed to be caught reaching for one, but had a very good innings.”

Towns needed a last-wicket stand to beat Bluff Point by just 10 runs at Muir Park.

Towns’ Sam Crouch won the toss and bowled, and the Pointers made 144 thanks to stand-in captain Sam Millett (80 off 67 balls).

He hit six fours and seven sixes.

It was clean hitting that provided momentum after the top three, Aaron Joss, Jay O’Brien and Rick Whiteaker, between them played 126 balls for 10 runs.

The Pointers also lost Aaron Thomas, who was run out after hesitating by a direct Travis Morgan hit from mid-on, and were 6-78, but Millett got them to a better place.

Wickets were shared by Tom Forsyth (3-15), Austin Breen (2-5), Kodi Giltrow and Callum Marquis (2-20).

Towns began brightly in the chase through Vijil Varghese (26), Jeremy Bedford (23) and Nathan Podmore (24) and, at one stage, were cruising at 1-75.

There was great hitting, too, with a Bedford six cannoning off the top of the Joe Italiano pavilion into a windscreen and cracking it.

Towns then lost 8-38 thanks to fine slow bowling from O’Brien (5-33), with Thomas (2-37) in support and non-striker Crouch run out by a deflection off O’Brien’s fingers.

But Marquis (28 not out) and No.11 Josh DeLacy found the 11 runs needed, and Towns finished with 154.

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