Sportsmans win but not by enough as Chapman Valley finish Geraldton cricket season on a high

Victor TantiGeraldton Guardian
Daniel Welsh guided Sportsmans to the win but they fell just short of finals.
Camera IconDaniel Welsh guided Sportsmans to the win but they fell just short of finals. Credit: Jake Santa Maria

Bluff Point were made to sweat but Sportsmans ultimately fell short against Towns on Saturday in their quest to steal the last finals spot.

Sportsmans met Towns at the Rec on Saturday needing a big win to tip out the Pointers who had the last-round bye.

For a while, Sportsmans were on track to deny Bluff Point a place in the Geraldton Bendigo Bank Cricket League finals.

All went well initially after captain Clint Yeates won the toss and his bowlers shot out Towns for 77.

It was something of a recovery after falling to 5-29 as Jarrod Jupp (4-8) and Xavier Bochat (2-20) ripped through the top order on a green top.

Only Dan Brimson (19), in gritty 51-ball innings, and Callum Marquis (14) reached double figures, with the biggest partnership a 23-run stand between Brimson and Podmore.

There was some excellent fielding, with Dan Welsh running back from square leg to hold a superb catch over his shoulder that did for Marquis.

That left Sportsmans needing to make at least 159 – a big ask on a bowler-friendly track and it proved beyond them as they could only make 82.

Ringo McKenna (3-7) was again deadly and took the key wicket of Yeates (23), beautifully caught low down at shortish midwicket by Seth Farmer.

He also dismissed Graeme Barndon, caught behind by Jeremy Bedford, to get the ninth wicket as Sportsmans looked likely to lose the game at 9-66.

Bedford had earlier effected a great stumping standing up to Tom Forsyth (2-29) to shift Ben Ingle.

However, Welsh (16 not out) and Harrison Steel (4), with just eight runs in six previous digs, held their nerve in a dramatic last-wicket partnership to get them over the line.

It was a gutsy performance but left them agonisingly short of a finals appearance as they finished 0.76 points behind Bluff Point to miss out.

Chapman Valley-Northampton ended their season with a win over Wanderers, who like all clubs were stymied by long weekend absentees.

CVN’s Nigel Routledge batted after he won the toss at Mazzuchelli Oval and his top order set up a tally of 201.

Bobby Gibson (67) played well with support from Cody Slootmans (38), Routledge (30) and Gibson’s father, Bob Gibson (18).

Kade Gillingham (4-17) didn’t keep and instead showed he can bowl too, while Matt Clarkson (2-18) and Clayton Bruce-Cherry (2-23), now officially Cricketer of the Year, chimed in.

Wanderers responded with 114 with runs from Bruce-Cherry (41 off 28 balls) and Gillingham (38). Justin Clarkson (15) also made a score.

After being 4-91, Wanderers lost 6-23 and the surprise destroyer was Routledge (6-27), figures he will have enjoyed immensely while Zak Williamson (2-15) also had reward.

Wanderers will play Bluff Point on Saturday, March 11 for a spot in the grand final against Towns on March 18.

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