Albany continue dominance with fourth B-section crown
Albany Cricket Association’s strong run of titles in B-section at senior country week has continued after securing a fourth victory in the past decade by defeating Warren-Blackwood in last Friday’s final in Perth.
The run of success began in 2008 when Albany beat Goldfields in the B-section final and they have since won titles against Port Hedland, Geraldton and now Warren-Blackwood in the past 10 years.
After losing on the opening day of this year’s campaign, Albany quickly turned things around to win their final two pool games and set up a semifinal against Bunbury and Districts on Thursday.
Albany recorded a 21-run win to book their place in the decider after 65 to young opener Matthew Ferreira and a strong contribution from Englishman Shameer Ahmed (31) helped them reach 184 all out.
Bunbury made a good fist of the run chase but seamers Graeme Weinert (4-40) and Matt Ellul (4-69) restricted them to 163 in reply.
Albany batted first in the final against Warren-Blackwood’s first XI with nearly all of the top order getting starts.
Middle-order batsman Jesse Spaanderman was the anchor of the innings; however, as his fighting 54 helped them to 165 with support from Michael Ferreira (28) and Neil Ferreira (16).
Three early wickets had Albany on top before a dashing innings from Gary Mills swung the momentum back in Warren-Blackwood’s favour.
Mills though fell on the stroke of drinks to Tom Sutherland on 54 and his side were eventually bowled out for 142 to hand Albany a 23-run triumph.
Weinert was sensational in the decider as the co-captain snared a five-wicket haul, his 5-58 off 22.4 overs crucial in the result. Sutherland was impressive with 2-23 and Ellul took 1-46 in the title win.
Neil Ferreira made 173 runs in three innings to lead the way with the bat while wily veteran Weinert returned with 12 wickets at an average of 11.5 and Ellul finished with 11 scalps at 16.8.
Meanwhile, Albany’s third XI were unlucky to also not reach the final in E-section after tying with Peel in Thursday’s semifinal.
Peel made 7-193 and Albany reached 5-193 in reply from their 50 overs but Peel progressed as the higher-ranked team.
Albany suffered a 52-run loss in their play-off for third and fourth against Exmouth on Friday.
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