IT WAS a difficult start to country week for the combined Horsham-West Wimmera under-17 team in Warrnambool on Tuesday.
The team was comprehensively outclassed by Warrnambool Gold as the pre-carnival favourite rattled to an impressive outright victory.
The combined squad looked to work its way into the contest early after winning the toss and electing to bat.
Corey Smith and Josh Lees put on a 28-run opening partnership but it was swiftly downhill once the pair were dismissed.
Coach Glenn Carroll said the opening pair looked very comfortable in the middle.
“They didn’t look like they were going to get out but then they tried to up the tempo a little,” he said.
“Josh got out and then Corey top edged a pull shot the following over before the things started moving very quickly.”
Smith was the only batsmen to reach double figures as the side was bowled out for just 59 in the 28th over.
The score included 26 extras as Warrnambool captain Alex Jennings made things difficult for Horsham-West-Wimmera on on the way to claiming 4-8 off eight overs.
Jono Carroll and Liam Preston picked up early wickets in Warrnambool Gold’s reply to have the side 2-29 on what was proving to be a bowler friendly wicket at Jetty Flats.
Coach Carroll said the side coach have taken four or five wickets before the side had reach 30 but things did not quite fall the way of his side.
“There was one dropped catch and a couple of other chances that were just beyond reach,” he said.
“Then once they passed our score they started to throw their bat at it a bit more.”
A composed middle order allowed the home side to score reasonably freely despite wickets falling at regular intervals.
Warrnambool Gold passed their target with seven wickets in hand before pressing on to declare at 8-136.
Preston was the pick of Horsham-West Wimmera’s attack as he finished with 4-57 off his 10 overs while Carroll managed 2-13 off seven.
Horsham-West Wimmera were still 77 runs behind with 90 minutes left in the day when they were sent back in as the Warrnambool side chased maximum points.
The side’s second innings did not start well as Lees, Josiah Mock and Jayson Brown were all removed before it had reached ten.
Smith, Shanaye Alexander and Mitch Martin had then all departed by the time the side reached 20.
Some resilient lower order batting almost allowed the side to bat out the day before Brock Hamerston was the final wicket to fall in the 28th over of the innings with less than 10 minutes left to play.
Jennings had claimed another four wickets to give him eight for the match as Warrnambool Gold won by an innings and 31 runs.
The Horsham-West Wimmera side takes on the Wimmera-Mallee Cricket Association side on the second day of play.