Saturday afternoon at Central Park in Wingham saw the second grade side take on the young Great Lakes team in the last game before the finals begin.
Wingham won the toss and elected to bat and got off to a steady start with opening batsman Andrew Cross and Denis Smith moving the score to (49) after nine overs.
In the 10th over Cross was adjudged LBW for 14. This brought Jye Kliendienst to the crease to join Smith and in a four over spell of bowling from the visitors that stemmed the flow of runs with only four runs being scored.
The pair had moved the score to 63 before Kliendienst was bowled for five and the score was 2/63.
Next man in to join Smith was Robby Hynes and he made his intentions clear with a boundary then a six in his first two scoring shots and with the score on 87 Smith was caught for a well-made 43.
This brought Wayne (Poppa) Smoothy to the crease and he too opened his account with two drives resulting in boundaries. The run rate was hovering around five per over
and Wingham seemed to have the upper hand until the 19th over when first Hynes was caught in the deep and the next man in Rhyce Kliendienst was dismissed without scoring and the home team were 5/97.
Steve Allwood joined Smoothy and at drinks the score was 5/103. After the break the pair kept the runs flowing until the 23rd over when Smoothy was caught on the boundary for 17 and Wingham were 6/118. This saw captain Mathew Essery join Allwood and he also made his intentions clear with a couple of boundaries from his first two balls as well, until the 27th over when Essery played a sweep shot back onto his stumps for 24 and the home side were under some pressure.
Jessie Newman joined Allwood and the score had moved to 166 when the later was dismissed for a well-made 32.
Tye Brislane looked promising until he was caught in the deep for four, the score now 9/172. Scott Blanch joined Newman at the crease with nine overs remaining and the pair set themselves to bat the remaining overs.
With some good shots and good running between the wickets the pair was building a solid partnership pacing themselves well.
In the 37th over young Newman showed why he will be a valued player in the future for the club when he opened up and scored at will to all parts of the ground.
The pair had moved the score to 233 in the 40th over before Newman was caught on the boundary for a well-made 40, Blanch remained 22 not out and the pair had added 60 runs for the last wicket with the final score 10/233. This was a competitive score, but Wingham knew that they had to bowl well, as the Great Lakes side has some fine young batsman in the ranks.
Brislane took the new ball with Allwood and the pair got off to a steady start without being able to dominate the opening batsman. In the 9th over Allwood removed the Great Lakes captain to have the score 1/39.
Brislane was relieved by Rhyce Kliendienst and started with a maiden, Blanch relieved Allwood at the other end and together they slowed the rate until the 16th over when Blanch took a wicket which was quickly followed by Kliendienst picking up a wicket in the 17th over and the visitors were 3/79.
The next three overs resulted in only five runs being scored. After the break Essery was introduced with Jye Kliendienst; Essery in his second over picked up two wickets with consecutive balls to be on a hat trick, but the visitors negotiated the last ball of his over to deny him of that feat, and they were 5/96 after 23 overs.
Kliendienst was replaced by Brislane and in tandem with the captain restricted the runs and in Essery's fifth over he picked up another wicket which gave Brislane the lift he required to pick up his first wicket in the next over and Wingham were on top with the score 7/126.
In the last over from Essery he picked up his fourth wicket to cap off a fine spell and the score 8/150.
Brislane was relieved by Andrew Cross for a cameo appearance of one over before Rhyce Kliendienst was reintroduced with Blanch from the other end and finished the remaining overs with Blanch picking up his second wicket in the 40th over and Great Lakes were restricted to 9/181.
Bowling figures were: Brislane 1/29; Allwood 1/29; R Kliendienst 1/22; Blanch 2/32; Essery 4/35; The Australian Hotel player of the match went to Scott Blanch.
Next week is the first week of the finals in which Wingham will take on Old Bar at a venue to be determined.
Wingham will need to improve in the field if they are to progress further in the competition after a sloppy effort against Great Lakes.
Wingham First Grade cricket had the bye last weekend