Ton for Jay O’Brien opens Bluff Point’s account as they beat Sportsmans in Geraldton cricket

Victor TantiGeraldton Guardian
Jay O'Brien.
Camera IconJay O'Brien. Credit: Supplied

A superb 117 not out from Jay O’Brien led to Bluff Point opening their Geraldton Bendigo Bank Cricket League account on Saturday.

After 15 successive losses to Sportsmans, they beat them for the first time since 2016-17.

Riley Barham returned to lead Sportsmans and batted after winning the toss. His team was 6-80 before Flynn Dillon (54 not out) peppered the boundary.

Of the rest, only Clint Yeates (19) threatened until bowled by Brett Marendaz (3-34). Mitch McAuliffe (2-39) also impressed, and Morgan McAuliffe cleared the tail.

Action from Bluff Point vs Sportsmans.
Camera IconAction from Bluff Point vs Sportsmans. Credit: Geraldton Guardian

Matt Reid held two great catches, one running from cover to deep midwicket to dismiss Nic Rafanelli and then a smart grab in the gully high and to his left to shift Barham.

The Pointers were 3-16 in the chase as Jarrod Jupp (3-16) shone, but O’Brien and Theo Curtis (16) put on 50 before Curtis was one of four Dillon catches. Matt Russell (28) then added 68 with O’Brien.

With the game won, O’Brien cut loose to end with a six and 14 fours and as the fielding decayed, Marendaz (35) helped add 85 in 40 balls.

Graeme Barndon and Ben Ingle had two costly wickets each as the Pointers powered to 9-253.

“The pitch was a bit up and down with variable bounce and difficult initially on the back foot but I felt we’d chase down 146 if we batted our overs,” O’Brien said. “We lost wickets in clumps but Curtis dug in and Russell attacks and once past the target, we played all sorts of shots.

“Maybe 145 was 20 or more than we should have allowed but Dillon played big shots we couldn’t do much about.”

The Chapman Valley-Northampton and Wanderers game was moved to GBSC Park and Wanderers remained unbeaten.

Wanderers’ Kade Gillingham won the toss and bowled and with veteran Shayne Bidwell (4-27) and Gus Heberle (3-16) firing, CVN was done for 97.

Bidwell (22) made up for an iffy start in Wanderers’ reply while Heberle (41) played anchor until Bobby Gibson (2-30) claimed him but their 158 was plenty.

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