By Sam Watson
• A Grade, Division 1
NEW A1 flag favourite Phillip Island has comfortably beaten the reigning A1 premiers OMK after a very solid performance at Cowes Recreation Reserve.
Phillip Island picked up three of OMK’s premiership heroes over the offseason, Daniel Mock, Tom Keily and Adam Miller, and they all played a role in the Sharks’ win.
The hosts batted first, and after Eli Richards was dismissed by veteran Peter Dell, opener Lachie Cleeland was able to get a couple of fours away.
But Dell again broke through getting the Diggers off to a flyer.
However next in was OMK’s former A1 captain Daniel Mock and although it took him a while to get off the mark, he was in good touch.
His teammates fell around him, but he continued digging in and got to 61 before he was caught out.
Another former OMK batsman Adam Miller chimed in for a quick 30* at the end of the innings and helped Phillip Island finish on 8/169.
Dell and OMK coach Ryan Williams finished on three wickets each, giving the Diggers a glimmer of hope in their run chase.
However, that was put to an end quickly as the Sharks tore through their batting order, winning by 109 runs.
It was an even bowling performance, but Charith Keerthisinghe and Richards finished with three wickets for not many runs.
It was the perfect start for Phillip Island, and they’ll be hoping to continue their good form next week.
Club, Imps clash abandoned
WONTHAGGI Club and Leongatha’s Imperials A1 clash was abandoned due to rain on the weekend.
Club opener Sam Huitema got his side off to a good start but once he was gone the Imperials had them in all sorts of trouble.
Luckily for Club, at 9/76, Jy Hull 27* and Fraser West 18* put on an unbeaten 44-run partnership to get them to 9/120.
The Imperials would’ve been backing themselves to make the target, but they never got the chance to bat as the rain came pouring down at Wonthaggi.
Koony control Nerrena at the death
KOONWARRA L/RSL’s return to A1 cricket was a successful one on Saturday, holding off Nerrena in the dying stages to win by five runs.
Ben Davison and Billy Manicaro opened the batting for Koonwarra and unfortunately didn’t get the start they were hoping.
Returning captain Ben Perry 22 was able to steady the ship for a small time, but Nerrena kept breaking through.
If it wasn’t for the eighth wicket partnership of Jack Hughes and Harry Hoekstra they would’ve been in real trouble.
They put on 37 runs and the Cougars finished on 8/126.
When it was Nerrena’s time to bat, the bowlers again put the pressure on early, dismissing their three first batsman cheaply.
Luckily, gun run scorer Tim Wightman came to the rescue and started to steer Nerrena towards an opening round win.
But he received little support from his teammates and when it came down to the last over, they couldn’t quite get it done and he finished on 48 not out.
Newman’s knock nullified by rain
INVERLOCH coach Dave Newman had a super start to his 2021/22 LDCA campaign, but heavy rain meant his 63-run knock against Leongatha Town went unrewarded.
Newman opened the batting with Tom McQualter and they got the Stingrays off to a great start putting on 64 runs.
Then Newman and Andrew Donohue’s second wicket partnership wasn’t far off that, putting on 50 runs to get their side into a formidable position.
Jacob Strickland was able to find a bit of form in the middle of the order and he helped Inverloch finish at 9/200.
Lewis Rankin was able to dismiss Town’s openers in quick succession, but when Town were 2/11, the heaven’s opened and the game was called off.