THE Horsham Saints have kicked off their Horsham Cricket Association A Grade season with a one-run win against Jung Tigers on Saturday.
Batting first at Horsham College, the Saints made a respectable 7/152 from 40 overs.
Gary Davidson opened the batting and put on 41 runs to help set up the Saints’ innings.
Captain Austin Smith went cheaply for two runs before Mark Crafter, 45, and Josh Hedt, 34, lifted the Saints’ total.
Jung bowler David Puls was the only multiple wicket taker claiming figures of 2-26 from eight overs.
Jung’s chase started nervously, with opener Puls falling for a duck and Sam Leith going for nine runs.
Brett Jensz, 31, and Angus Adams, 43, steadied the ship for Jung before Sebastian Dalgleish removed both batters.
Jonothan Caroll took two middle-order wickets and finished with figures of 3-38.
Jung’s Simon Mock finished the innings with an unbeaten 26 runs but the Tigers just fell short of claiming the win.
After the full 40 overs, Jung were left stranded on 7-151 as the Saints claimed a one-run win.
Saints captain Austin Smith said it was a great opening game.
“It went down to the wire. It was a good game to have early in the year,” he said.
“A lot of the young lads held their nerve. Jackson Davidson bowled well at important times and Seb Dalgleish was impressive with the ball too. The old wise heads of Mark Crafter and Gary Davidson batted really well. Jono Carroll with the ball was pretty good too.”
Smith said Jung was never out of the game.
“They were always in reach. They were needing that four or five runs an over in the latter part of the game and they batted pretty well,” he said.
“They had a few lucky knicks that went down for four and they needed about seven runs in the final over and just missed out.”
In the other A Grade games, Homers started its season with a win against West Wimmera at Nhill.
The Warriors made 6-134 batting first. Brodie Cramer, 51, and captain Michael Preston, 47, were the shining lights in the West Wimmera batting line-up.
A half century to Homers opener Adam Atwood set up five-wicket win, but there were some nervy moments, with Homers captain Jarred Combe removed for a duck.
Laharum started its season off perfectly at home, chasing down Rup-Minyip’s target of 186 with two overs to spare.
Lahaurm captain Daniel Griffiths made 81 runs as the side reached the target with a loss of just four wickets.
Griffiths said the opening partnership of 110 between himself and Josh Mahoney took some of the pressure off.
“We got off to a good start with the batting with a good opening partnership,” he said.
“We ticked the runs off nicely which took the pressure off a bit. He was great to bat with and we rotated the strike nicely.”
Griffiths said it was a great start to the season.
“We had fairly good numbers at training and then I don’t think we dropped a chance in the field,” he said.
“Rup-Minyip look like the have a couple of good younger bowlers and they will go alright this season.”
In the Horsham Cricket Association’s B Grade, Quantong notched an eight-wicket victory at home to Jung Tigers.
Jung set Quantong a total of 97 with a 53 to Quantong batter Tim Brand setting up a comfortable victory.
Lubeck-Murtoa also had an eight-wicket win against the Horsham Saints, chasing down a target of 93 with ease.
West Wimmera’s first B Grade game was a challenge, limping to 9-96 before the Colts chased down the target without losing a wicket.
In the final game, Blackheath-Dimboola fell to the Bullants by eight wickets with their total of 123 proving too little.