Opener?s defiant innings
By TONY WHITE
HARWOOD Hilton opener Geoff Simmons made the most of two early 'lives' to post a resolute 90 against premiers Westlawn Crown Hotel at McKittrick Oval on Saturday.
"He was dropped twice before he was 30," Harwood captain Tim McMahon said. "But he took his chances and batted really well.
"He was strong on the leg side and showed good patience with a defensive field stacked on the off side.
"It was a fine innings and one we needed."
With Westlawn youngster Rohan Hackett bowling with fire and immaculate line and length and partner Andrew Firth also dangerous, Harwood struggled early to be 4-40 with Westlawn clearly dominant.
Hackett snared the wickets of Ed Munday (3) and dangerous Nathan Ensbey for 0 and Craig Moran for 5. Firth had cousin Greg Firth trapped lbw for a duck.
"The four quick wickets didn't help. Hackett bowled quick and extra well," McMahon said.
"Geoff (Simmons) and Luke Harradine then had a good partnership just when we needed it."
Harradine went on to score 48 before being out lbw to Jason Chevalley.
Simmons and Harradine took the score from 4-40 to 5-142 with a vital 102-run partnership.
Peter Hickey (16), Kane Aeschlmann (10), Andrew Whiteside (5), Andrew Davidson (10) all got starts but failed to muster a rear guard action.
Change bowler Chevalley finished with 4-34 from 11 overs with Firth 3-52 and Hackett 3-36 both bowling exceptionally well.
"We've got 200 on the board now and it's now a matter of doing things right next week," McMahon said.
McMahon (2) was the last man out, players rushing for cover in near darkness when a severe thunderstorm struck.