WHACK: Easts middle order hitter Ryan Spies hits hard through the legside field during the Cleavers Mechanical Night Cricket clash between South Services and GDSC Easts at McKittrick Park.
WHACK: Easts middle order hitter Ryan Spies hits hard through the legside field during the Cleavers Mechanical Night Cricket clash between South Services and GDSC Easts at McKittrick Park. Matthew Elkerton

Opener carries the bat to firm Easts finals hopes

EASTS v WESTLAWN: A determined knock from GDSC Easts opener Ryan Spies has ensured the side remains at the top end of the GDSC Premier League competition.

Spies carried his bat through the innings, left stranded at the crease eight runs shy of a maiden Premier League century, as Easts completed a dominant chase of Westlawn's 8-177.

It was a chase that appeared on shaky ground for the Easts' side after they lost Shannon Connor and Hugh Cameron before reaching double figures courtesy of the medium pace of Pat Vidler (2 for 29 off 8).

But Spies controlled the innings from one end, forming strong partnerships with captain Sam John (13) and Jason Harrison (14).

"It was a really good innings from Spiesy, it was a shame he couldn't quite make the century, we tried to send a message out to the other end to slow down the scoring to get him there but it wasn't to be,” John said. "He really had to dig deep early in the innings, he worked hard to get himself in, and then it all started coming off the bat beautifully.

"When he got going the runs started coming easily for him and it was just about making sure we had blokes staying in at the other end.”

But Easts' chase again looked to be on shaky ground when they lost two wickets in succession late in the innings, before the heavy hitting of wicketkeeper John Martin (32*) steered the side home with five overs left in the innings.

"He came out and he was hitting them out of the middle from the word go, he put a couple of big bombs over the rope as well. It was just a really fun cameo to watch,” John said. "He is like a young version of Mark Cosgrove. A specialist pinch hitter.”

Earlier it had been the wily seam-up bowling of Gary Connor (4 for 35 off 8) that did all the damage for GDSC Easts with the veteran running through the Westlawn middle order as well as taking the wicket of Pat Vidler (48).

It was almost panic stations for the Westlawn side when the wicket of Eddie Gordon left the side struggling at 6-97, but cameos from Rick Bender (34) and captain Nathan Blanch (33) helped drive them to what was a respectable total.

"They did have a few big overs at the end there, and there was a few opportunities that went missing,” John said.

SCOREBOARD

GDSC EASTS V WESTLAWN JACA HOTEL

At Ellem Oval

Toss: Westlawn

Umpires: David Honeybrook

Westlawn 1st Innings

PJ Vidler c Martin b G Connor 48

L McLachlan c John b S Connor 0

BJ Inmon c Martin b S Connor 0

JR Grieve c Martin b G Connor 16

JT Bender c S Connor b G Connor 0

RJ Bender b John 34

DC Gordon b G Connor 0

N Blanch c Leek b Cameron 33

SM Simpson not out 19

A Spies not out 2

Extras (b 0, lb 1, w 22, nb 2) 25

EIGHT wickets for 177

Overs: 40

FoW: 1-6(L McLachlan) 2-15(BJ Inmon) 3-65(JR Grieve) 4-70(JT Bender) 5-97(PJ Vidler) 6-97(DC Gordon) 7-141(RJ Bender) 8-172(N Blanch)

Bowling: S Connor 8-1-24-2, SJ John 8-0-37-1, J Harrison 5-0-37-0, G Connor 8-0-35-4, A Tredinnich 8-1-21-0, H Cameron 2-0-12-1, R Spies 1-0-10-0

GDSC Easts 1st Innings

S Connor c Gordon b Blanch 2

R Spies not out 92

H Cameron lbw b Vidler 3

R Leek lbw b Vidler 10

SJ John st McLachlan b Grieve 13

G Connor b Grieve 7

J Harrison lbw b RJ Bender 14

T Paul c Inmon b RJ Bender 0

J Martin not out 32

Extras (b 3, lb 0, w 11, nb 0) 14

SEVEN wickets for 187

Overs: 35

FoW: 1-2(S Connor) 2-9(H Cameron) 3-27(R Leek) 4-76(SJ John) 5-81(G Connor) 6-127(J Harrison) 7-135(T Paul)

Bowling: A Spies 2-0-18-0, N Blanch 8-0-42-1, PJ Vidler 8-1-29-2, JR Grieve 8-1-31-2, RJ Bender 7-1-31-2, L McLachlan 1-0-20-0, JT Bender 1-0-13-0

GDSC Easts won by three wickets with 30 balls remaining



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