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Towns make it three in a row as Marquis bats long in Geraldton Cricket League final

Victor Tanti & Jake Santa Maria Geraldton Guardian
Towns made it three titles in a row with a comprehensive win against Bluff Point.
Camera IconTowns made it three titles in a row with a comprehensive win against Bluff Point. Credit: Jake Santa Maria

It was by no means a classic but for Towns, it won’t matter as they completed a historic hat-trick of A-grade titles in the Geraldton Bendigo Bank Cricket League with a seven-wicket triumph over Bluff Point.

Towns, founded in 1945-46, have never claimed three premierships in a row until now.

The Pointers tried hard but Towns’ win was tribute to their depth and to Sam Crouch who’s had a glorious three years in charge.

“It’s massive and exhilarating and well-deserved for the boys for what they’ve done all year it just makes it all worthwhile,” Crouch said.

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“We just tried to keep it all simple and treat it as another game and worry about the history after which we managed to achieve.”

“It was a pity the outfield was so slow but I couldn’t have asked for more from my players, this is an awesome team to be part of.”

Bluff Point’s Jay O’Brien won the toss and elected to bat after the early loss of Callum Joss, leg before to Ringo McKenna (2-19), O’Brien (10) and Matt Russell (25) dug in until the 21st over.

Towns bowlers shared the wickets around Pictured: Kodi Giltrow
Camera IconTowns bowlers shared the wickets around Pictured: Kodi Giltrow Credit: Jake Santa Maria

It was 2-34 after O’Brien was held by Callum Marquis off Austin Breen (2-18) after at one stage he went scoreless for 40 balls as McKenna, Tom Forsyth (0-13 off 10 overs), Breen and Josh DeLacy bowled tight.

Russell fell soon after, caught by McKenna off Kodi Giltrow’s second ball before Giltrow (2-19) also had Aaron Thomas (11) nicely caught by Nathan Podmore as Thomas tried to go aerial to offset the slow outfield.

Sam Millett, Jayden Pinto (19) and Carl Shilling (20) did lift the tempo a tad but with even well-struck balls pulling up in the outfield, they resorted to risky ones and twos.

They got away with that to an extent but it was a fitting they lost their last wicket to a run-out having made an under-par 120.

Towns weren’t perfect in the field but Jeremy Bedford’s ‘keeping was top class and there were plenty of enthusiasm from Daniel Lennard and Dan Brimson.

With little value for shots Towns were happy to grind their way to victory Pictured: Callum Marquis
Camera IconWith little value for shots Towns were happy to grind their way to victory Pictured: Callum Marquis Credit: Jake Santa Maria

Towns were cautious in the reply with Marquis (56no) and Bedford (17) putting on 44 for the first wicket.

Bluff Point were bowling well but with a low total to defend they needed wickets, however, they would not get one until the 24th over when O’Brien (2-5) dismissed Bedford.

Three balls later Podmore was well caught by Mitch McAuliffe to give his side some hope but veteran Jai Russell (32) added 67 with Marquis and the game was won with 20 balls left.

Antonio Paradella appeals as Pointers toiled hard but struggled to find breakthroughs
Camera IconAntonio Paradella appeals as Pointers toiled hard but struggled to find breakthroughs Credit: Jake Santa Maria

Marquis, who faced 153 balls, won the Bob Taylor Best Player Medal to emulate his father Gerard (2009-10).

“I feel pretty stoked it’s such a family club Towns and to do it three times with such a young group and grow up together is unreal,” he said.

“I definitely made the conditions look a lot harder than it was, but I knew I had to keep going,”

“When me and Jeremy Bedford made it through the first 10 overs and then till drinks I thought we got this easy, there were nerves after the 50 to make sure I was still out there for the win.”

“ I’d rather have three flags and make a duck every time than have hundreds in losses, it was all about the team and was happy to contribute.”

The game reached no heights as it was too hard to score freely with Towns not managing a boundary until the 31st over as the winning run was greeted with relief as well as joy.

The Matt Gallop-prepared pitch was not to blame — it had bounce and movement but the curse of local cricket, slow outfields, meant it was laborious viewing at times.

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