Albany sides fall just short of country week titles
Albany’s two teams competing at junior country week have both finished runners-up, falling short of bringing home titles in the under-14 and under-16 divisions after a week of playing in Perth.
Two teams went to the annual tournament under the Albany Junior Cricket Association banner, with the under-14s out to make it back-to-back wins in their division, while the under-16s chased a sixth A-section title.
In the under-14 A-section, Albany fell six points short of victory, their only loss coming at the hands of eventual champions Peel on the opening day.
Albany defeated Eastern Goldfields in two Twenty20 games last Wednesday, with Noah Blight smacking 84 in the first game after his century on Tuesday.
On Thursday they won a four-run thriller over Busselton-Margaret River, who they bowled out for 169, with Samuel Ross, Mohit Jaggi and Bailey Peacock each taking two wickets.
Another terrific all-round bowling performance on Friday helped them roll Bunbury for 120 and then solid contributions from Ryley Valli and Seb Ballard steered them to victory.
Albany finished in second place with five wins but Peel were un-defeated and claimed the title.
Blight had a brilliant week with the bat and was the under-14 A-section’s second-highest run scorer with 284 runs at an average of 71, while Valli (156 runs) and Ballard (152) also surpassed 100 runs.
Ross was the under-14s’ best bowler with eight wickets at an average of 8.8 and Jaggi also took eight scalps at 14.3.
Albany’s under-16 team competed in A-section and after losing their first two matches to Pingelly and Geraldton, responded impressively to finish the carnival with four victories and in second spot.
In twin T20s against Eastern Goldfields last Wednesday, Albany won both, with Harry Brown making 46 and Angus Thompson snaring three wickets in the first game.
Albany restricted their opponents to 9-57 in the next game, led by Jarrad Fuller’s 4-12, and then posted 6-111 in reply.
Plenty of top-order contributions helped Albany make 9-189 in their 50-over match against Busselton-Margaret River on Thursday, a total that proved far too much for their opponents.
They removed them for 63 and then enforced a follow-on in which they skittled BMR for 11.
Thompson took four wickets in the first innings and Seb Stanton returned 3-4 in the second innings.
Albany’s bowlers starred again on the final day as they bowled Bunbury out for 96 after posting 193 batting first. Thompson took four more wickets and he was ably assisted by Lorcan McNamara (3-7).
For the week Thompson finished as the equal leading wicket taker in A-section, his 16 scalps coming at an average of 6.06, including 4-21 on the last day.
Fuller and Noah Middleton both returned eight wickets from their six matches.
Stanton was Albany’s leading run scorer, a tally of 178 runs at 29.6 that included a superb 94 on the final day.
McNamara (114) and Brown (91) were the next best for Albany with the bat.
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