Coutts crossed out of night comp
CRICKET: Coutts Crossing’s dream of making the final of the Night Cricket Competition was crushed on Monday by never-say-die Westlawn.
The sentimental favourites went close to booking a place in Friday’s night decider against Brothers but fell short by an agonising nine runs.
Batting first Westlawn limped to 107 after their 30 overs; in reply Coutts were bundled out for 98.
Questions have to be asked why Coutts’ premier batsman and potential match-winner Ken Willis was batting at number six.
By the time Willis strode to the crease Coutts were reeling at 5-49 with only 10 overs remaining.
When Willis finally got his chance he immediately stamped his authority on the game belting the ball to all parts of the ground in a superb display of power hitting.
The sound of the ball hitting the willow echoed around the ground as he almost single-handedly turned the game back in Coutts’ favour.
Unfortunately his partners up the other end failed to get bat on ball and showed an inept ability to turn the strike over.
In the end the increasing pressure continued to mount on Willis who attempted to hit John Blanch out of the ground only to hear the dreaded death rattle behind him.
Earlier Coutts captain Tim Tilse won the toss, sending Westlawn in on a damp wicket. Tilse’s decision proved the correct one as Westlawn crumbled to 3-12 in the fifth over.
Brad Inmon showed his intentions from the start, smashing a four before receiving a lucky break when put down in the outfield by Nick Wood.
Inmon soon abandoned his aggressive approach and played a well-measured innings working the ball through the off-side with text book cover drives.
Inmon top-scored with 42 and was well supported by Jason Chevalley who, on his way to 19, smashed a massive six over backward square leg.
A feature of Westlawn’s batting in the final overs was the running between the wickets by Matt Lobsey which frustrated the Coutts’ fieldsmen.
Joel Gosson was the pick of the Coutts bowlers with 3-14.
Coutts’ run chase got off to a solid start with Dan Collins (11) and Dean Hambly (22), at one stage Coutts were 2-45.
Wickets tumbled at regular intervals but to the crowd’s amazement there was still no sign of Willis.
The running between the wickets could only be described as woeful as the Coutts’ batsmen showed little urgency.
Matt Lobsey’s effort in the outfield was a highlight of the evening.
His hare-like speed around the boundary saving at least 30 runs.
After losing their fifth wicket, Willis (26) went about entertaining the crowd but the slow outfield made it difficult to find the boundary.
It was an anti-climax when Willis departed - heads went down as players and spectators alike soon realised Coutts’ dream of a grand final berth had been shattered.