Running into trouble
AN EXCELLENT fielding display at McKittrick Park on Wednesday night kept Coutts Crossing alive in the Cleavers Mechanical Night Cricket competition for 2014/15.
Four run outs helped restrict the previously unbeaten Harwood side to 132, before a well-judged run chase saw Coutts Crossing pass the total with five wickets in hand and 11 balls to spare.
Big-hitting opener Brett O'Connor was given two lives, before he was finally caught out for 12.
The infielders though regularly caught the other batsmen by surprise with some sharp pieces of work, with Matt Farrell (11), Lachlan Johnson (2), Daley Durrant (0) and Zac Honeybrook (1) all victims of run outs.
Only a quickfire 44-run fourth-wicket partnership in five overs between Mark Ensbey (19) and captain Ben McMahon (33) looked to unsettle the Coutts bowlers.
But the likes of Bill North (2 for 18 off 5), Adam Elliott (1 for 14 off 5) and Brandon Honeybrook (1 for 15 off 5) were able to tighten their grip once the danger men were removed.
Openers Tim Tilse (34) and Aaron Webb (35) set up an ideal platform, putting on a 60-run opening partnership that ended at drinks.
Tight lines from Zac Honeybrook (0 for 11 off 5), Dylan Causley (2 for 22 off 5) and Ben McMahon (2 for 30 off 5) threatened to hold Coutts at bay.
But as the required run rate climbed, Luke Cox (22no) answered the call to calmly guide the side home.
"The run outs probably made the difference in the end, but that's cricket," Ensbey said.
"If we batted the rest of our overs, it would've made a different game of it. But, in saying that, the Coutts fellas paced themselves throughout the innings and still had some not bad batsmen to come."
Temporarily on top of the ladder after their last preliminary match, Coutts Crossing must now await the outcome of their next four matches to see whether it has done enough to qualify in the top three.
Feb 11: South Services v Tucabia-Copmanhurst
Feb 18: Harwood v GDSC Easts
Feb 25: Brothers v South Services
Mar 4: Tucabia-Copmanhurst v Westlawn
Mar 11: Semi-final
Mar 13: Final