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Geraldton squeak through to A-section semifinals despite losing record

Victor Tanti Geraldton Guardian
Ringo McKenna has been good with the ball but batters have struggled.
Camera IconRingo McKenna has been good with the ball but batters have struggled. Credit: Jake Santa Maria

Geraldton made the A-section semifinals of the Alcohol Think Again Country Week Cricket Titles despite losses on Monday and Wednesday.

Normally a 1-2 record in the qualifiers would not be enough, but the door was opened when Bunbury 2, who’d lost their two previous qualifiers, upset Eastern Goldfields.

That and Geraldton’s superior bonus points tally was enough to deny Eastern Goldfields a spot in Thursday’s semifinal against unbeaten Bunbury 1 as luck fell Geraldton’s way.

On Monday, Geraldton suffered an agonising loss to Eastern Goldfields on a difficult Tompkins Park track.

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Eastern Goldfields won the toss and elected to bat and were in trouble at 5-66 as Ringo McKenna (3-26) ran through the top order.

However, they recovered to make 134 thanks to Judd Kelman (73) who came in at first drop and was last man out. The only other batter to reach double figures was Nick Willis (12).

McKenna was at times unplayable and had help from Clint Yeates (3-30) and Matt Russell (2-23).

Geraldton made a disastrous start to the chase losing three wickets on seven. Despite a fightback from Jay O’Brien (25) and Clayton Bruce-Cherry (32), Geraldton fell to 6-82.

Captain Jai Russell (26 not out) and Nigel Routledge (26) added 32, but when it seemed the game was safe Routledge was run out by Aaron Charlesworth.

Kodi Giltrow and McKenna fell in quick succession leaving 12 runs for the captain and Matt Russell to chase down.

Jai Russell ended up stranded with two balls left when Matt Russell was trapped in front and Geraldton lost by two runs.

Credit to EG, their attack plugged away with fine work from Blake Willis (3-36), Graham Kennedy (2-38) and Nick Willis (2-19).

On Wednesday at College Park, Albany made 153 with Ringo McKenna (2-45 off 21 overs), Bruce-Cherry (3-31), Yeates (3-21) and O’Brien (2-15) shining, assisted by great fielding.

Seb Stanton (39) top-scored coming in at six to lead a recovery from 5-86.

The gettable target was beyond Geraldton’s batting, however, with only O’Brien (20), Routledge (16) and Jai Russell (15) making runs in a reply of 89.

The last five wickets fell for just 15 runs as Alex Garlick (5-23) tore through the middle order and was the best of the bowlers.

However, with Bunbury’s upset over the Goldfields, three teams finished with a 1-2 record and Geraldton’s 10 bonus points were enough to see them progress through to the semis.

At the time of print Geraldton had made a solid start to their semifinal against Bunbury 1 sitting at 2-79 off 31 overs, after choosing to bat.

Details of the semifinal and hopefully Friday’s final will appear in Tuesday’s Guardian.

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