Bulldogs out of contention as Magpies spoil the party
A third straight loss has compounded a dirty afternoon for North County, as a day filled with the hope of pushing their way back into the top four evaporated quickly in the final regular round of the Albany Cricket Association A-grade competition.
The Bulldogs entered round 17 outside the top four and persistent rain firstly forced the matches onto synthetic wickets, before two of the three fixtures were washed out.
The fourth-placed Mt Barker gained three points in their abandoned match with Railways, lifting them to 49 points but not completely guaranteed in the top four.
The Bulldogs were desperate to take the field at Hard North as they played for their season and, after waiting more than two hours, play began in a 30-over a side contest against Denmark.
After originally winning the toss and electing to bat, the Bulldogs flipped on their decision and bowled first.
Matt Burton and veteran Cary Green shared in a defiant 50-run opening stand to set a strong platform for the Magpies.
Green made 18 before he was removed by Riecko Parker-Cole and skipper Ryan Gaerth (14) also fell to the English import.
Burton threw his bat at plenty in an entertaining and attacking knock of 42, with the Magpies 4-94 when he departed.
The Magpies lost 5-25 in a difficult period but the reason behind the decision to field first by the Bulldogs came to the surface when several players left mid-innings to attend a school ball.
Four players left and only one was replaced leaving the Bulldogs with eight in the field for the last six overs and the Magpies took full advantage as Damien Schwarzbach (20 not out) and Graeme King (11 not out) helped their side peel off 27 in the final five overs as their side reached 8-141.
Not only had the departure of their youngsters left the Bulldogs vulnerable in the field but they now had only seven wickets to negotiate a tough run chase.
A bonus-point win was required to knock the Bulls from the top four, the task chasing 142 runs in 24 overs.
After the loss of Aaron Williams in the first over, the Bulldogs put themselves in the game as Craig Tonkin, Neil Ferreira and Parker-Cole shouldered their side’s hopes in the big chase.
The Bulldogs were 3-67 after 10 overs but had lost key men Ferreira (13) and Parker-Cole (15) in the process leaving Tonkin to try and haul them to victory.
Parker-Cole loomed as the danger, smacking three straight boundaries off one Gaerth over but he was run-out from the deep after almost colliding with Tonkin between wickets.
Dan Robson trapped Graeme Weinert lbw and then Tonkin was caught in the deep to a great catch from Alex Bentink off the bowling off King for 22 as the Bulldogs season slipped away.
The Bulldogs only had seven wickets to play with, King taking the final two scalps to end up with figures of 4-36 as the Magpies claimed a bonus-point win. They removed the Bulldogs for 74 to prevent them from playing finals for the second straight season.
The other game between Manypeaks and Collingwood Park had no bearing on the finals and was also deemed a no result after the rain.
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