Red hot Westlawn plunder way to outright win
By TONY WHITE
WESTLAWN Grafton Hotel scored the most emphatic win of the Bananacoast Community Credit Union Premier League cricket season when it powered to an outright win over a hapless East Royal Tavern at McKittrick Park on Saturday.
After plundering 7-258 off East's attack last week and declaring with 30 overs remaining, Westlawn had East struggling at 5-24 when play resumed on Saturday.
The Valley's most dangerous cricketer, Andrew Firth, back bowling at his best after recovering from a back injury, simply proved too much for East's batting line-up.
Firth ripped through the East middle and tail order and finished the first innings with great figures of 6-25 from just 9.2 overs.
Firth was ably supported by Nathan Blanch, captain Tony Blanch and young spinner Jake Conway-James, who each took a wicket.
East's lower order batsmen actually had better figures than their top order counterparts.
The top five batsmen accrued a meagre 19 runs between them, but the remainder at least showed some fight with Nathan Bender (10) and Rob McKenzie (14no) proving the pitch wasn't a batting minefield.
East was dismissed in an incredible 21.2 overs.
The outfield was slow after the week's torrential rain but the pitch was even and didn't play tricks.
East was eventually all out for 61 and was immediately sent back in by Blanch.
The second innings was a replica of the first.
East captain David Cox attempted to lead from the front in the second innings but he went for 14, caught by Brad Inmon off the bowling of Conway-James.
East fielded an under strength side without several of its regular first graders and the formidable task of taking on the premiers proved beyond the 'pups'.
McKenzie went for 9 with East again struggling at 2-18.
Youngster Mitch Ware showed glimpses of form with 13 but apart from top scorer Brendan Palmer (18), the remainder of East's batsmen capitulated under the pressure of Westlawn's relentless onslaught.
Conway-James finished the leading wicket taker in the second innings with 5-25 from 11.1 overs.
Wicketkeeper Jason Rainbow swapped the gloves for the ball during the innings and turned in stunning bowling figures.
In Rainbow's first over he had Steve Smyth and Nick Ada out with figures of 2-0.
Rainbow's off spinners eventually returned 3-16 off seven overs.