British Bulldog brings bite
North County have strengthened their finals claims, with the return of English all-rounder Riecko Parker-Cole having a big say in the Bulldogs steamrolling Collingwood Park at Turf North in round 12 on Saturday afternoon.
Parker-Cole returned home for Christmas but he made his presence felt with both bat and ball ahead of a country week campaign with Albany, as the Bulldogs finished convincing 66-run winners.
Park speedster Ben Grey ripped through the Bulldogs’ top order to have them 3-8 before the batting side recovered, with a fifth-wicket partnership steering them out of trouble.
Brendan Dovey made 13 in his return to the A-grade side before Parker-Cole and skipper Neil Ferreira combined for 72 runs as they went about setting a defendable total.
Ferreira became Grey’s fourth victim, clean bowled for 46 and Parker-Cole’s innings came to an end on 59 when trapped in front by Jack McPhee.
The Bulldogs were all out for 155, with Grey the main destroyer with 4-40 from his 10 overs.
Parker-Cole then turned destroyer with the ball as he took three crucial early wickets to have Park on the back foot.
Nathan Dovey was the first to fall on 3, followed by Jesse Spaanderman (1) and Grey (2), all undone by the Englishman to leave their side 3-15.
Park were never able to recover and despite some middle-order resistance from Tim Pyle (19), Andre Gabriel (10) and Steve Van Nierop (15), they were knocked over inside 40 overs.
Aaron Williams (3-3) helped clean up the tail and crafty spinner Paul Osborne took 2-17 as Park were all out for 89 in reply.
In a sole fixture on Sunday, Park were able to turn their fortunes around with a tense 10-run win over Royals on Turf South.
Nic Barrow played well at the top of the order for his 37 and his teammates gave contributions down the order including Van Nierop (20) and Matt Heberle (22 not out) as they finished on 163.
The Lions built a solid platform in their run chase but after making starts, none of the top order could go on to post a significant half-century.
Digby Nuthall (36) and Ted Batchelor (26) looked solid but both fell before drinks and they slumped to 8-132 after Grey came back to crash through the lower order.
Aubin Spurr pushed the Lions towards the target with his 16 but Mitch Jackson took the final two wickets to remove the Lions for 153, handing them a much-needed victory.
Grey (3-35) and Mitch Jackson (2-19) were instrumental with the ball, while youngster Myles Jackson took the big wickets of Mitch Green and Nuthall at the top.
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