The region’s best batsmen admirably fought through trying conditions in Horsham Cricket Association at the weekend, with three centuries scored across the grades.
Gary Davidson put in a remarkable performance for the Horsham Saints in A Grade, dragging the side to a competitive total of 223 on day one against the undefeated Homers.
While nobody else made more than 15 runs for the Saints, Davidson was able to keep his cool in the windy conditions and post his first century of the season with a remarkable 129.
Davidson almost carried the bat in his one-man stand but was undone LBW by Simon Hopper for the second-last wicket of the day.
Davidson was assisted by brief cameos from Bradley Sproule (14 runs), Dylan Thompson (15) and number eleven Haydn Smith (15) as the Saints gave themselves a defend-able total heading into day two.
For Homers, in the absence of skipper Jarred Combe, Jason Kannar was the pick of the bowlers, dismissing most of the middle order with four wickets. Eddie Landwehr and Simon Hopper also took two each.
Meanwhile Daniel Schaper put Rup-Minyip into the box-seat with his first ever A Grade century against the West Wimmera Warriors.
Schaper opened the batting and saw off a difficult opening session at Minyip to go on to post an incredibly impressive 122.
“The bowling was pretty tight early on,” Schaper said.
“There was a bit of swing as well with a lot of wind.
“Josh Lees [two wickets] bowled really well for them and was probably unlucky not to get more reward.
“I just slowly built into it – once we lost the wicket of Mark Mbofana [for five runs] Adam Carter came in and we spoke of just getting through that tough period. Once i got my eye in the runs just came.”
Schaper led the side along with Adam Carter and Brayden Ison chipping in with 27 runs each as Rup-Minyip declared at 5-203 with 20 overs remaining in the day.
After a tough day in the field, the Warriors collapsed under the pressure with the bat, falling to 5-32 at the end of the day’s play. Clinton Midgey was the main man for Rup-Minyip, taking four wickets.
“Travis Hair wanted to have 15-20 overs at them at the end of the day, hoping to get one or two wickets and set us up,” Schaper said.
“We were pretty stoked to be able to get them five down. Clinton bowled really well.”
In the remaining A Grade contest, Jung Tigers are well on their way to a victory against Laharum.
Damien Bunworth (63) and Ben Peucker (25) put up a fight for Laharum with the bat, but three wickets from David Puls and two each from Tyler Puls and Joel Pymer had the Mountain Men all out for 139.
Opener Josiah Mock fell for a duck and the in-form Tyler Neville was dismissed for 11 in reply giving Laharum an early sniff. But a confident partnership from Brett Jensz (41 not out) and Angus Adams (26 not out) had Jung in the box-seat at 2-87 after day one.
Meanwhile in B Grade Lubeck-Murtoa’s Graeme Reddie made it back-to-back centuries with 131 against the Jung Tigers.
Reddie is in a rich run of form after posting 108 against Colts last round. Reddie raised his average this season to 55 as Lubeck-Murtoa side made 245 on day one.