miners-routed-for-measly-51Town batsman Matt Smith is bowled out by the Workers’ Zane Macdermid early on in the away team’s innings at McMahon Reserve. G184214

• A Grade Division 1

THE honeymoon is officially over for Wonthaggi Miners.
After returning to the big league this season, they have claimed a win over Inverloch and a creditable loss against their main protagonists, Wonthaggi Workers, in the opening rounds.
But, oh dear, the wheels really fell off on Saturday when they faced off against Nerrena at their seemingly idyllic rural setting east of Leongatha.
Against the rising pace of Renish Joy and the quality spin of Will Lowry and Tim Wightman, they simply had no answer.
Their batsmen couldn’t get the ball away, chasing the worthy target of 7/238, and after Jason O’Reilly went first for five, it was all downhill from there.
Joy finished with 4/12 off his eight overs to be the best with the ball but Wightman was the man of the match with 68 runs (including 9 fours) and 2/16 off six overs.
The match of the round was played out at McMahon Reserve however where Leongatha Town were right in with a chance of reaching Workers’ total of 7/285 while Amila Ratnayake was taking the long handle to the bowling.
Workers appeared to have taken the match away from Town during their innings when Mitch Thomas 51 and Ryan Thomas 92 (11 fours and 4 sixes) shared a partnership of 132, however Ratnayake was equally savage on the Worker’s bowling when it came Town’s turn to bat.
However, while the home team had a couple of batsmen in supporting roles, Ratnayake was playing a lone hand on his way to the season’s first A1 ton of 125.
Matt Smith started positively, making 22, until he “tore his calf muscle off the bone” going for a quick single. He couldn’t stand up after that and was bowled by Zane Macdermid.
Ratnayake was put down on 80 but Workers balanced that out with a stunning catch by Gav Britt in second slip to remove Ash Hickey.
Once Ratnayake went with the chase at 8/199 it was all over for Town.
In the other matches, Inverloch looked to be cruising against Imperials when they restricted them to just 126 but they lost 5/25 at the start of their chase, thanks mainly to the efforts Zac Price who bowled a great line from the netball courts’ end to take a fantastic 4/5 off eight overs.
Will Rankin stayed around while the carnage was happening at the other end and then handed over to Dylan Clark 64 and Brett Debono 38 who took the match away from Imps with a 105-run partnership.
Phillip Island finally got on to the winners list when wicketkeeper Jarrod Black 57 steered them home with a couple overs to spare against OMK who had batted steadily if unspectacularly on the main Cowes oval to set the home side a target of 8/131 after 40 overs.
The Islanders were always in the boxseat with steady partnerships and wickets in hand despite the best efforts of Sam Jenkins who took 1/9 off eight overs in a controlled display for the Miners.