Wingham V Taree West Semi Finals

THE wicket was in top condition and well prepared; the weather perfect - hot, sunny with a slight breeze and so the stage was set for two competitive days of cricket, when Wingham met Taree West in the semi-finals at Cedar Party Cricket Reserve.

Day One commenced with Taree West winning the toss and electing to bat. Gary Pomplun and Tom Toshack opened the batting and were soon dismissed by the Williams brothers; Pomplun was caught by Adam Carney in a brilliant catch off Ryan Williams for (9) and Toshack lbw by Daine Williams for (8). Paul Cox and Lee Crozier were now at the crease; however Crozier's appearance was brief when he was caught by Wayne Smoothy off Daine Williams for (6). Cox was settling in well and added (27) to the score including 4 x 4's when Brad Staff was introduced to the bowling and removed Cox with the first ball of his first over.

Staff who was returning from a few weeks break was in excellent form and took five wickets in the math. His second wicket was Adam McLeod who was caught lbw (6), and then Ethan Curry who top scored for Taree West (39) was bowled by Staff. Elijah Dack was stumped by Brock Hynes off Staff for (4) and Luke McLeod caught Smoothy off Staff without troubling the scorer. Taree West was now 8/114.

Andrew Dack and Naden Moriarty were now at the crease, this partnership of over an hour's play, frustrated the Wingham bowlers and added 48 to the score before Moriarty was bowled by Ryan Williams for (31). A. Dack put on the most enduring performance of the Taree West players, until he was finally caught by Jake Mullen off Daine Williams for (21). Jonathon Paff remained (2 n.o.).

Taree West were all out for 169. Best bowlers for Wingham were Brad Staff 5/37 off (13); Daine Williams 3/54 off (12); Ryan Williams 2/17 off (9) and Michael Stinson 0/26 off (11).

At 4.20pm Wingham commenced their first innings with Jake Mullen and Daine Williams opening the batting, this partnership added 36 to the score, before Mullen in the seventh over was caught Cox off Luke McLeod for (6). Staff joined Williams at the crease and these two added another 42 to the score. D Williams put on a powerful performance adding (55) to the score in under and hour off 41 balls including 6 x 4's and 2 x 6's, before he was bowled by Cox. Brock Hynes next into bat was caught A Dack off Moriarty for (9). At the end of Day One Staff (25 n.o.) and Jonathon Craig-Dobson (6 n.o.) were at the crease with the score 3/112 and twenty nine overs bowled.

Day Two and Wingham are chasing 169 for a first innings victory; Staff continued his steady and patient performance of the preceding day until he was caught A Dack off Cox for (41) including 6 x 4's. Adam Carney joined Craig-Dobson at the crease and the pair continued to add runs to the score until Craig-Dobson also fell prey to Cox when caught by Taylor for (23). Carney edged a delivery which struck him on the brow causing him to retire hurt (13 n.o.).

Mick Stinson and Wayne Smoothy worked in tandem and dominated the Taree West bowling. Stinson added (30) to the total before he was caught behind by Toshack off Cox. Ryan Morris joined Smoothy, who shortly after was bowled by A McLeod for (18). Ryan Williams scored a quick fired (18) before he too was bowled by A McLeod. The final partnership of Morris and Dan Barber contributed (22) to score then Barber was caught E Dack off Crozier for (9). 

At this stage of the game lightening interrupted play as a storm front moved through. The two captains agreed to call an end to the match with Wingham 9/266 and claiming first innings. Best Bowlers for Taree West were Paul Cox 4/37 off (11) and Adam McLeod 2/55 off (10). The Australian Hotel Wingham Player of the Match was Brad Staff. Next week Wingham vs Old Bar in the Preliminary Final.

Wingham through to Decider

On Saturday Wingham travelled to Old Bar Reserve to take on the Minor Premiers in the qualifying final of the Manning's 2nd Grade competition. Wingham won the toss and sent the home team in to bat. Tye Brislane and Steve Allwood opened the bowling for Wingham and it wasn't long before a brilliant side on direct hit run out by Rhyce Kleindeinst in the 7th over saw Old Bars inform batsmen J Duck dismissed, and the very next ball Brislane took another wicket when he cleaned bowled the batsmen and by the end of the over Old Bar were 2/23. In the 11th over Brislane removed Phillips and the score now saw the home side 3/39. A double bowling change saw Rhyce Kliendienst and Scott Blanch introduced and almost with immediate results Kliendienst had a wicket with the first ball of his second over and at the drinks break Old Bar were 4/56. 

After drinks Blanch picked up his first wicket when he had the batsmen bowled and repeated the result in his next over and the score 6/71. Kliendienst had been replaced by Mitch Niven and he picked up a wicket with his third ball and Old Bar were 7/73. Allwood was brought back on to replace Blanch and he too picked up the next two wickets and the score was now 9/88. As well as Niven and Allwood bowled they could not take the final wicket as the Old Bar batsmen showed some stubborn resistance and had moved the score to 118 before Blanch who had been brought back on took the final wicket to a brilliant one handed catch by Jye Kliendienst. Bowling figures were Brislane 2/22, Allwood 2/29, Kliendienst 1/22, Blanch 3/13 and Niven 1/10. 

With an hour and 10 minutes to bat Andrew Cross and Dennis Smith looked to get Wingham of to a solid start, but Old Bar had other ideas and Cross was out the very first ball when was caught behind. This brought Jye Kliendienst to join Smith and he took the attack to the bowlers with some fine shot making and together they saw out the rest of the day to have Wingham 1/56 at stumps. 

Sunday saw a fine day and Wingham looked to consolidate on the strong overnight position and had moved the score to 65 before Kliendienst was dismissed for a well-made (33). Mitch Niven joined Smith and when the score had moved to 75 Niven was out for (7). Matt Essery came to the crease and looked to get back on top of the bowling and return the ascendency back to Wingham but Smith was unable to stay with him and was caught for 21 and now the visitors were 4/83. Jessie Newman (1) and Robby Hynes (3) and Rhyce Kliendienst (1) came and went and Wingham were now teetering at 7/105. Steve Allwood joined Essery at the crease and the pair pushed the score past Old Bar's total of 118 and then looked to build a lead before played was halted for the day by a severe storm and this meant that Wingham had won on the first innings. Essery remained 48 not out and Allwood 18 not out. Wingham were outstanding in the field and with the ball in hand to restrict the strong Old Bar side to a low score. Wingham now awaits the result of this weekend’s game to decide who their opponent will be in the final.

Wingham v Old Bar 2

AFTER a tragic defeat the previous week against Old Bar 2 Wingham third grade fell from second place to fifth and was relegated to the Qualifying Final for 4th Grade. But what a difference a week made, with Wingham once again facing Old Bar 2, this time at Central Park.

Wingham once again got off to a shaky start but solid contributions from Gary Creighton (20), captain Leigh Niven (23) and Josh Essery helped Wingham to 6/103 from the first 27 overs. Paul Kelly (64) and Mark Thompson then combined for an exceptional 88 run 7th wicket partnership. Paul Kelly was brutal despatching 11 fours and one six to the boundary, while Thompson stylishly made 43. Wingham completed their innings with a competitive 8/214

A strong bowling and fielding effort was required to stave off the strong Old Bar 2 batting line up, and Bruce Bird did not disappoint bowling eight consecutive overs up the hill to finish with 3/19. Shane Manny (2/16) took two crucial wickets in his opening over having Simon Eggins well caught by Gary Creighton at first slip, and the dangerous Shaun Chapman brilliantly caught behind by keeper Darryl Johnson. Wingham were tremendous in the field with skipper Leigh Niven leading the way with four spectacular catches. Faron Saxby (3/21) once again bowled well removing Old Bar 2 top scorer Aaron Watson (30) and the busy Kiah McSkimming for 23. After being dismissed for 68 a week earlier, Wingham had completely turned the tables bowling Old Bar 2 out for just 93 inside 27 overs. John Delaney capped off a terrific team effort, taking the final wicket of the day with a plumb lbw of Old Bar co-captain Tony Nicholls.

Wingham now progress to the fourth grade Grand Final in a fortnight's time.