Wingham Premier League side commenced the T20 section of the competition with convincing victories over fancied sides United and Wauchope at Chatham Park on Saturday.
Wingham won the toss and elected to bat in both games. Against United Wingham looked likely to post more than the 135 they set after Ben Cole and Michael Rees added 71 in seven overs for the second wicket. Rees hit two sixes in his 27 and was out with the score at 86. When Cole was caught behind for 44 (4x4,1x6) the total stood at 4/102 in the 12th, having previously lost the wickets of Hynes (15) and Morris (3).
The introduction of veteran spinner Danial Stone to the attack led to the downfall of Rees, Morris and Tim Rees (2). Dean Mills picked up the wickets of Harry Clarke (1) and Mick Stinson (15) to go with that of Hynes, and he ran out Hayden Essery for (4) as the Wingham middle order collapsed. Blake Sky was bowled by Ricky Campbell for two and Ryan Smoothy (0) in similar fashion to Sam Whitbread to end Wingham’s innings.
Mills finished with 3/14 and Stone 3/22 for United.
Sky held a hot chance at mid off from Ryan Yates (4) in the first over from Josh McTaggart and the bowler followed up by yorking Ricky Campbell for 10 in his second. Tim Rees chipped in by bowling Matt Collier (2) and when Mick Stinson bowled Mills with his first delivery, United had slumped to 4/18.
Justin Boyd became McTaggarts third victim when caught for four shortly after.
Tom Burley (37) and Stone (15) consolidated before both fell to Michael Rees. Zac Sheather (5) and Whitbread (1) were both bowled by Rees before McTaggart cleaned up Aaron Pin (7) to finish the match.
McTaggart bowled with good pace to return 4/17 and Michael Rees collected 4/16. Tim Rees and Mick Stinson both contained the batters.
In the match against Wauchope, Wingham were looking for an improved batting display, and they got it, setting the Clubmen a chase of 211.
Once again Brock Hynes (9) was out in the second over, but his demise only steeled the will of skipper Michael Rees and left-hander Cole. Without too many risks the pair elevated the run rate to add 114 for the second wicket in nine overs as both players brought up impressive half centuries. Rees was first, in just 26 balls, whilst Cole took 30.
Rees included three sixes and three fours in his 50, passing the mark whilst hitting 26 from Tony Brown’s over. He went on to hit three more majors, one easily clearing Plover Street, and a minor before he was dismissed for 68 off 31 balls.
Cole almost cleared the house at the northern end of the ground with his only six, but blasted six fours in a stylish 53, passing 4,000 runs for Wingham in the process. He was dismissed in the 16th over when the score was 165.
Sixteen-year-old Hayden Essery and 18 year old Harrison Clarke carried on by adding another 32 in quick time with Essery falling four short of a half century, hitting seven boundaries from 32 balls. Clarke remained unbeaten on 15 and Mick Stinson on eight at the innings close.
Most bowlers suffered punishment before Isaac King picked up two wickets for four in the final over.
Facing the daunting task of chasing nearly 11 an over Wauchope lost two early wickets, one being big hitting captain Matt Miller. From there they seemed resigned to fail, notwithstanding good contributions from opener Nathan Lyon (29), Darren Bourke (21), Jake Morgan-Monk (24) and the dangerous Bailey Smith, who smoked three sixes in his 29.
Wauchope finished 55 runs shy on 8/156.
Highlights of a solid Wingham bowling performance were part timers Brock Hynes claiming 2/2, Blake Sky taking the new ball and Mick Stinson claiming another wicket with his first delivery.
Wingham takes on Taree West at Johnny Martin Oval on Saturday in the final T20 match to decide who contests the final on Australia Day at Port Macquarie.