Yamba claims Lower title
By Adrian Miller
YAMBA won the Lower Clarence Cricket Association premiership with a convincing 62-run victory over United at Yamba Oval on Saturday.
The win came after an aggressive 57 from 16 year-old Troy Urquart and a superb display of bowling from Rob Becker, who took 5-21 off nine overs.
Winning the toss and batting first, Yamba made 8-201 off their 45 overs after an all-round batting display.
Dan Kirk (16) and stand-in skipper Mark Vallette (21) took the score to 40 before Kirk was caught off the bowling of Aaron Jones.
Urquart came to the crease and attacked from the start, contributing 50 runs in the 60-run partnership he shared with Vallette.
A mini collapse led to Yamba losing three wickets for 11 runs, but Matt Cheney (23) and Tom Fletcher (13) steadied the ship to take Yamba to 5-143 when Fletcher was out.
Yamba staggered to 7-149 courtesy of another collapse, before an unbroken ninth wicket partnership between Phil Kelly (22) and Evan Rice (15) took Yamba to their final total of 201. Michael Essex was the pick of United's bowlers with three wickets, while Aaron Jones and Luke Many snared two each. United's innings began disastrously, losing their first three wickets for 14 runs after some brilliant fast bowling by Becker.
Many (22) and Essex (49) hit out strongly to lift the run-rate, but when Many and Nick Clark (1) fell in quick succession, the score stood at 5-46 and things looked bleak for United.
Essex and Shane Many, (29) gave United some hope, but when Many fell with the score on 6-110, the game was all but over.
They were bowled out for 139, with Becker doing the damage.
Rob Hodson and Greg Walker chipped in with two wickets apiece.
Vallette, said it was a great all-round team performance.
"We were very happy with the win, especially after finishing as minor premiers, so it was good to get up," he said.
"Everybody chipped in and did their bit which was very pleasing. "Most guys got among the runs and Rob and Greg Walker bowled really well."
United captain Nick Clark said his team was its own worst enemy.
"We dropped about eight catches and just didn't click on the day," he said.
"It is disappointing, but these things happen."