PRIDE and top spot in the divisional pool was on the line when Hamilton played Warrnambool Blue at Avery’s Paddock on day three of the Warrnambool Under 17 Country Week on Wednesday.
Although both teams were already assured of a semi-final berth and in some quarters could have been forgiven to cruise through the day, neither team took a backwards step and produced an all time Country Week classic, with Hamilton holding on to win by one run.
The win, coupled with Grassmere’s surprise loss and subsequent drop from the top of Pool B into the classification games, meant that Hamilton is the only undefeated team after the preliminary rounds and assured of at least fourth position in the tournament.
Hamilton captain Tim Goodman won the toss and elected to bat and mixing the top order around a bit, Angus Boyd and Joel Tully went out to open.
Tully took an immediate liking to Warrnambool Blue’s bowlers and although teammate Boyd is well known for thumping attacks around, it was Tully making most of the early play.
He had made 24 of 34 when Ben Rantall took the first wicket of the day, bringing Goodman to the crease, and he and Boyd set themselves to work the ball around and continue to build on the momentum which Tully had set such a good platform for.
Keeping the scoreboard moving at nearly four runs an over, the pair pieced together 57 valuable runs before Boyd was caught for 28, Angus Dundon following suit in making 16 of a 20 run partnership with Goodman to take the score to 3-111.
Warrnambool Blue had dragged the run rate a bit by the time Jack Landwehr fell for three, but Lachie McIntyre had earned a rise in the order and he clipped another handy 14 runs around the field.
All the while, Goodman had controlled the innings beautifully by accumulating runs and he fell just short of a half century on 48, followed quickly by Duncan Cameron for three.
Full story in the Spectator on Saturday, January 11, 2014