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Geraldton cricket season review: Where teams stand going into tail end of year

Victor TantiGeraldton Guardian
Wanderers celebrate another wicket in what has been a good season for them.
Camera IconWanderers celebrate another wicket in what has been a good season for them. Credit: Fraser Williams/Geraldton Guardian

Much of the 2023-24 Geraldton Bendigo Bank Cricket League season is over and play is in recess, making it an ideal time to review how teams have fared.

With the regular season already two-thirds of the way through, the league will stay on a break until February.

The top two teams have already secured their spots in the finals but the third spot is still up for grabs, so there are still some questions to be answered about how the league will shape up during the tail end of the season.

WANDERERS (10W/1L)

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Flag favourite. Four batters have topped 200: Ian Oglesby (227 at 37.83), Zane Marwick (284/35.50), Damien King (308/34.22) and Clayton Bruce-Cherry (341/31.00). Captain Kade Gillingham (192/19.20) has been handy and has 12 catches and four stumpings.

King leads the bowlers with 22 wickets at 9.36 and Mitch Thompson (17/9.29) and Bruce-Cherry (14/10.71) have been deadly. Thompson’s past 14 wickets have cost just more than six runs each.

There’s depth with Jason Partington, Gus Heberle, Henry Anderson and, though he puts younger players before himself, Shayne Bidwell (10,298 A-grade runs plus 600 wickets) lurks.

Highlight: Association fifth-wicket record stand of 215 between Bruce-Cherry and King.

TOWNS (9W/2L)

Likely to play Wanderers in the grand final (they will also decide the Young Motors T20 Cup in February).

Jeremy Bedford leads their batting (483 at 48.30), followed by captain Ringo McKenna (257/32.12). While Kodi Giltrow, Jai Russell and Sam Crouch have had moments, none have more than 138.

Josh DeLacy heads the bowling (19 wickets at 8.63) with input from McKenna (13/9.00), Travis Morgan (11/15.09), Tom Forsyth (11/15.45) and Giltrow (9/12.77).

Highlight: Bedford’s maiden century, a superb 198 v CVN, a Towns record.

SPORTSMANS (5W/6L)

Will make the finals but beyond that? Unlikely.

No batter has made a 50 and Darcy Ingle’s 139 is their best aggregate. Only three others have topped 100.

Jarrad Jupp (17 wickets at 15.41) leads the bowling with super-vet Brad Mailer (11/16.81) and Simon Evans (9/20.88) in support.

They need two more games out of Glenn Wishart so he can qualify for finals. Even in his cricketing twilight, he can turn a game in a handful of overs with bat or ball.

Highlight: Ingle’s 7-18 v CVN. He has not bowled since as he is needed to keep wicket.

BLUFF POINT (2W/9L)

Disappointing after making last season’s grand final.

Captain Jay O’Brien (203 at 22.55) easily tops their batting. Sam Millett and Callum Joss (129 and 128 respectively) are next best.

Antonio Paradella has most wickets (19 at 17.73), followed by Mitch McAuliffe (13/19.69), while James Morrison (10/12.60) has made a fine transition from B-grade and Jeremy Boase (12/21.08) has had good days.

Highlight: Paradella’s 5-17 v Spo. Now has 46 career wickets at 16.06, solid for someone once not considered a front-line B-gradebowler.

CHAPMAN VALLEY-NORTHAMPTON (1W/9L)

Struggled throughout the season.

Captain Nigel Routledge (155 at 22.14) has been their best bat. No one else has breached 100 or made a 50.

Best bowlers are Mitch Marsh (14 wickets at 21.64) and Zak Williamson (13/20.38), while Lachlan Teakle has promise.

Highlight: A one-run win over BP with Hayden Dawson, a part-timer these days, brought on as Routledge had no other options. He bowled McAuliffe with his third ball to win it.

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