The 2021-22 Geraldton Bendigo Bank Cricket League season came to dramatic conclusion last Saturday. The Wanderers were put in on a bowlers’ pitch at Wonthella but made only 85. Towns were 5-34 at one stage in the chase but Nathan Podmore’s unbeaten 48 delivered a one-wicket win. The Guardian’s expert cricket commentator Victor Tanti looks back on other highlights of the season just gone. MILESTONE MAN Graeme Barndon’s 1000 career runs. Not among the greats but worked hard to be a reliable ‘keeper in premiership sides. He is one of many of similar ability the league is built on and that it took him 137 innings matters not. It’s about the journey. UP-AND-COMERS Towns’ Kodi Giltrow took 29 wickets, scored 162 runs and won the U21 Best Player Medal, while Wanderers’ Gus Heberle won the U19 Medal with 30 wickets and 190 runs. VETERANS Sportsmans’ Nic Rafanelli and Adriano Paradella, both well into their 40s. Rafanelli passed 5000 runs, while Paradella bowled solidly. CRICKETER OF THE YEAR Bluff Point’s Jay O’Brien, with five last-round wickets, pipped Towns’ Brady Collins who was wicketless that day. But Collins shared a bigger prize, the Doug Hogue Medal, with teammate and now three-time winner Jai Russell. T20 FINAL Towns were set 126 to win — a lot given Wonthella’s slow outfield. After seven overs, they needed 7.38 an over but somehow Russell engineered a last-over win. COUNTRY WEEK Dan Welsh dismissed his 196th batter to set a new wicket-taking record for Geraldton. Micky Dunn’s previous best had stood since 1949. Clint Yeates played his 100th game for Geraldton and was later awarded association life membership — only the 17th so honoured in the league’s 59 years. A NEW STAR Clayton Bruce-Cherry debuted for Wanderers in February and in eight innings made 421 runs, which included three tons. He also had 14 cheap wickets. THE WOMEN’S COMP Our best players, well led by Jo Walker, defended the Country Week title. Geraldton’s next best were second. In club cricket Wanderers, featuring a deadly attack of women’s best Olivia Bidwell, Sam Biddiscombe and Ashlyn Thompson, enjoyed an almost flawless summer. Captain Linda Rose recalled that in their first season three years before they were happy if they batted out their 20 overs and often didn’t. Nine of their premiership team were in that inaugural side. BIG HITTING Bluff Point’s Aaron Thomas needed runs and went with a ‘see ball, hit ball’ policy in a game against Sportsmans. He hit his first ball for six, reached 50 in 22 balls and 100 in 44. The same day the Horizon Ball on the foreshore was found broken. It may have been struck by one of his nine sixes. BIG HAUL Ringo McKenna’s 8-12 against Bluff Point was fourth best in league history and best ever for Towns, beating Ian Criddle’s 8-22 (1969-70). “Honestly, it was a lot to do with luck,” McKenna said.