Harwood?s patience pays
By ADRIAN MILLER
THE Bananacoast Community Credit Union Premier League clash between competition pace-setters Harwood and defending premiers Westlawn is evenly poised after the first day's play, with Harwood sitting on 8 for 268.
The score was built around Harwood's number three batsman Nathan Ensbey, who compiled a patient 82 -his highest score of the season.
It was a fine display from the Harwood batsmen, with all but three getting starts and making it into double figures.
Luke Harradine was the second highest scorer with 47 not out, Kane Aeschlimann scored a good 36, while opener Geoff Simmons accumulated 31.
It was a tough slog for the bowlers, with wickets being hard to come by.
Andrew Firth was the pick, with 5 for 45 from 28 continuous overs, while Westlawn captain Tony Blanch snared the other three wickets for 58 runs off his 12.
In a preview of what many believe will be this season's grand final, Harwood were sent in by Blanch on a pitch favouring the seamers.
Blanch was hoping his opening combination of Firth and Rohan Hackett would take some early wickets, but Harwood's opening pair of Simmons and Ed Munday were solid.
Munday was the first to go, caught in close by Rob McCredie off Firth just before the hour mark, which brought Ensbey to the crease.
He and Simmons enjoyed a 31-run-partnership before Simmons went the same way as Munday, and Harwood were 2 for 50.
Another 34-run-partnership between Ensbey and Peter Hickey took Harwood to 84, before a mini-collapse, due to good seam bowling by Firth, saw them go from 3 for 91 to 5 for 113.
Ensbey and Harradine steadied the ship, sharing in a 51-run-partnership, before Ensbey was out with the score on 164, 18 short of a deserved century.
From there Harradine, Matt Young, 16, Aeschlimann and Andrew Whiteside, 14 not out, took to the attack, plundering 104 runs from the last 15 overs of the day.
Harwood will go a long way to securing the minor premiership if it wins next week, whereas Westlawn are still chasing points to secure a top-two finish.