Hackett solid as a rock as Westlawn shake the tree
CRCA CRICKET: Rohan Hackett capped off a successful return to the Clarence River Cricket Association arena with a man of the match performance as Westlawn shocked the GDSC Premier League leaders Premier League on the weekend.
Hackett hit the ball cleanly around and out of Ellem Oval in a chanceless innings as he raced to a half-century.
Working on foundations laid by opening pair Simon Wilson (41) and Kallen Lawrence (42), Hackett went to town on the Harwood attack, taking to the spinners early on before also blunting the pace attack on a batting wicket.
"It was a pretty good deck and it is probably one of the best innings I have had, definitely since I returned," Hackett said.
"I have been batting well this season and I just felt confident as soon as I got out there. After having three years out, it has just taken me a little bit to pick up the form and getting used to the game again."
Work commitments outside of Grafton stopped Hackett from being able to commit to club cricket but he has felt the itch to get back to the crease since the day he left.
Now that he is working back in the Clarence Valley, the powerful hitter saw it as a perfect opportunity to strap the pads on again for Westlawn.
Hackett also impressed with the ball in hand as he took the new cherry under heavy cloud cover when play was late to resume on Sunday.
It was the first time Hackett came off the long run up since making his return and the fiery quick showed real pace catching the glove of Nathan Ensbey on the way through to wicket keeper Jason Rainbow.
After the covers had blown off in the storm the night before and the pitch received a soaking, the Westlawn attack had the ball seaming around, but Hackett said the bowlers still had to work for wickets.
"That was the first time I have come off a long run up in about three years so I am pretty happy," he said. "The rhythm was not too bad. It took me a little bit to get used to it.
"It was good because we bowled good together as an attack. There were a few demons in the pitch but you still had to put the ball in the right areas on a deck like that."
Hackett supported lead seamer Nathan Blanch (6 for 68 off 24.1) who claimed his first five-wicket-haul of the season as Westlawn bowled Harwood out for 175.
"It was great to have a win against them," Hackett said. "It was a real confidence boost for us heading into the mid-season break.
"As a whole team we played a lot better and our attitude was in the right place."
Harwood captain Nathan Ensbey was impressed with Hackett's efforts but admitted his team faced tough times on a "tricky deck".
"It was a totally different wicket than the one Westlawn got to bat on," Ensbey said. "To our boys' credit we dug in and batted as best we could and we can hold our heads high. It was just a bit disappointing the covers got blown off and the wicket damaged."
WESTLAWN v HARWOOD
At Ellem Oval
Westlawn 1st Innings
SM Wilson c JT McMahon b MN Young 41
K Lawrence c HJ McMahon b MN Young 42
JP Rainbow c HJ McMahon b JT McMahon 0
BJ Inmon lbw JT McMahon 4
R Hackett c BG McMahon b LD Johnson 79
Total: 229 Overs: 68.2
FoW: 1-81 (SM Wilson) 2-85 (JP Rainbow) 3-93 (K Lawrence) 4-93 (BJ Inmon) 5-129 (D Amos) 6-166 (PJ Vidler) 7-181 (N Green) 8-221 (R Hackett) 9-229 (C Buggy) 10-229 (K Wilson)
Bowling: HJ McMahon 8-4-15-0, DD Durrant 12-2-37-0, BG McMahon 5-0-8-0, L Many 11-3-33-0, JT McMahon 13-0-33-2, MN Young 14-1-72-5, LD Johnson 4.2-1-12-2, D Harris 1-0-4-1.
Harwood 1st Innings
N Ensbey c Rainbow b Hackett 10
DD Durrant lbw b N Blanch 24
D Harris lbw b N Blanch 8
MA Ensbey lbw b N Blanch 18
BG McMahon c Vidler b J Blanch 18
HJ McMahon lbw b JA Blanch 16
MN Young c Green b N Blanch 30
L Many b Hackett 17
MJ Farrell c Lawrence b Blanch 15
JT McMahon not out 2
A Moss b N Blanch 0
Extras (b 4, lb 7, w 5, nb 1) 17
Total: 175 Overs 56.1
FoW: 1-12(N Ensbey) 2-38(D Harris) 3-57(DD Durrant) 4-78(MA Ensbey) 5-92(BG McMahon) 6-119(HJ McMahon) 7-152(L Many) 8-163(MN Young) 9-173(MJ Farrell) 10-175(A Moss)
Bowling: N Blanch 24.1-4-68-6, N Green 8-0-38-0, JA Blanch 15-3-40-2, R Hackett 8-2-18-2, PJ Vidler 1-1-0-0.
Westlawn won 1st innings by 54 runs.