WEST Wimmera Warriors secured an historic victory in Horsham Cricket Association A Grade at the weekend, defeating Laharum by 86 runs.
It marked the Warriors’ first win in the association after the West Wimmera Cricket Association disbanded in July.
Captain Michael Preston said after the Warriors had let some games slip earlier in the season, their first win was less of a celebration and more the releasing of a pressure valve.
“It felt like more of a relief than excitement to be honest,” he said. “It happened a little bit quicker than expected – I thought they’d make a few more than that. But it was good to have the win.”
Hot and windy conditions on Saturday made it difficult for batting, and Preston said it suited the in-swing bowling of Bradley Keller. Keller was devastating in just his second A Grade game of the season, taking 5-8.
“He pushed it up into the breeze and it really worked,” Preston said. “His bowling over the last year or so has improved a lot. He took seven in B Grade last round so we threw him in and he was great.”
Preston said he hoped the win could be a springboard for his side, and that they would be more competitive in the second half of the season.
In other matches, Homers easily defended last week’s score of 276 against the Jung Tigers, who were all out for 103 in reply.
The damage was done early with the Tigers top order falling to 5-25, decimated by the bowling of Craig Britten (3-30) and Jarred Combe (2-13).
Batting at number six, David Puls put up a fight for the Tigers with 48 runs including three fours and three sixes. But little else went right, as Jung finished 173 runs short.
For Homers, Simon Hopper added to his 83 runs last week with two wickets in a man-of-the-match performance.
Unlike Laharum and Jung, Horsham Saints seemed unaffected by the windy conditions, easily chasing down Rup-Minyip’s first-innings total and piling on more runs from there. The Saints resumed needing 71 more runs for victory, and opener Mark Crafter guided them there with his second consecutive century before falling for 107.
Opening partner Gary Davidson also chipped in with 66 runs before retiring not out. Tim Bell came in at number seven and put on a stunning batting display to finish the day, making a quickfire century that included 15 fours and seven sixes. The Saints stopped at 5-334 after 56 overs.