Harwood storm to top of ladder
HARWOOD kept their cool to leapfrog Westlawn to the top of the Premier League table with a convincing win against Tucabia Blue on Saturday.
Not even a suspected torn hamstring to Harwood’s Kane Aeschlimann or a swashbuckling century by Blue’s Matt Dougherty could prevent Harwood from outright victory.
The platform for Harwood’s decisive win was set-up last week after the home side amassed 7-328 declared and in the shadow of stumps Tucabia were reeling at 2-7.
Tucabia started the massive run chase in dismal fashion losing a further three wickets with only 33 runs on the board. Brett O’Connor (31) and Matt Dougherty (24) made handy contributions but an inspired Harwood bowling performance led by Mark Vallette (4-41) saw Tucabia all out for 95.
Harwood captain Tim McMahon had no hesitation is sending Tucabia back in and at 2-12 it looked like an early finish was inevitable.
With nothing to lose Matt Dougherty threw caution to the wind blasting an entertaining 101.
“Dougherty just teed off and hit the ball clean,” an impressed McMahon said.
“I think 82 of his 101 came in boundaries. Credit must also go to Josh Gorman who played sensibly for his 66.”
McMahon said getting Tucabia Blue captain Matt Kroehnert out cheaply in both innings helped his side gain outright points
“Matt went cheaply in both innings which certainly helped our cause,” McMahon said.
“We actually dropped Matt in the first innings before he scored; Kane went into slips because of his hamstring and put him down.
“Overall our bowling and fielding was good especially the fielding effort of Luke Harradine who took five sharp catches which included a brilliant caught and bowled.
“They (Tucabia) took to Matt Young early but he bowled well to the lower order in his second spell.”
Young finished the day with 4-75 off 15 overs
Losing a bowler of Aeschlimann’s class and experience with the finals just around the corner could be a huge blow to Harwood’s chances of taking out the title.
Hamstrings take several weeks to mend and when contacted yesterday Aeschlimann although in pain was confident of making a quick recovery.
“I haven’t felt an injury like this before. I knew something was wrong straight away,” Aeschlimann said.
“Something went wrong in my delivery stride... it wasn’t a good feeling.
“I’ll keep the ice up to it and see ‘Pup” Campbell during the week and get some physio. I’ll definitely be out the first week against South’s but hopefully I can have a run in the second week before the finals.”
“Dougherty just teed off and hit the ball clean.”