Finals heartbreak for Albany and District under-14s at junior country week

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Albany and Districts under-14s A-section team.
Camera IconAlbany and Districts under-14s A-section team. Credit: Melinda Walsh

Albany and Districts Cricket Association fell agonisingly short of winning the under-14 A-section title at junior country week after a last-over thriller against Wellington in last Friday’s final.

After winning Thursday’s semifinal against Geraldton, Albany faced off for the under-14s A-section title against Wellington in a Twenty20 fixture at Richardson Park with the match shortened due to the competition’s heat policy.

Albany batted first and set Wellington 92 to win, and after a strong start Albany got themselves back into the game in the middle overs.

Wellington fell to 2-33 before Max Ireland and Oliver McLean steered them towards victory.

Cameron Walsh fields.
Camera IconCameron Walsh fields. Credit: Melinda Walsh

Terrific fielding from Teague Valli and a throw to a calm Rory Sutherland had McLean run out for 15. With 14 needed from 18 deliveries, Sutherland went for just three runs in the 18th over and then Valli bowled the penultimate over of the game and conceded four runs.

Wellington needed seven to win off the last over, and Ireland (40no) and Rowan Jamieson (15no) got their side past the target with three balls to spare.

Albany's Jed Kowald.
Camera IconAlbany's Jed Kowald. Credit: Melinda Walsh

Cameron Walsh (1-16 ) and Harvey Taylor (1-20) were the wicket takers for Albany in the final.

Earlier Rory Luscombe top scored with 32 from 40 balls while Milan Jaggi made an unbeaten 26 to lift Albany to 8-91.

Matt Thompson bowls.
Camera IconMatt Thompson bowls. Credit: Melinda Walsh

In the semifinal Albany were commanding 68-run winners over Geraldton after Teague Valli smashed 60 in a strong first-innings score of 9-146 in the 40-over game. Walsh (2-6), O’Shea Durack (2-7) and Buddy Robinson (2-13) helped remove their opponents for 78 in reply.

Teague Valli enjoyed a superb week, finishing as the under-14 A-section leading run scorer with 314 at an average of 104 which included scores of 76, 97 and 81 on the first three days.

Albany's Teague Valli hooks in the under-14 A-section.
Camera IconAlbany's Teague Valli hooks in the under-14 A-section. Credit: Melinda Walsh

Taylor and Teague Valli both picked up five wickets across the week.

Meanwhile Albany’s first XI who competed in the under-16 A-section division finished fourth overall.

A top-order collapse led to a big semifinal defeat at the hands of Bunbury and Districts on Thursday. Albany were 4-3 but recovered to make 9-110 from 40 overs after a fighting half century from Jakob Douglas.

Bunbury and Districts lost three wickets in the run chase but reached the target in the 26th over despite Ryley Valli snaring 2-16.

Albany's Ryley Valli bowls in the under-16 A-section division.
Camera IconAlbany's Ryley Valli bowls in the under-16 A-section division. Credit: Jodie Valli

In their third and fourth play-off on Friday, Albany lost the T20 by six wickets to Busselton-Margaret River.

Ryley Valli scored an impressive 66 from 62 balls as Albany reached 5-123 but their opponents secured victory with seven balls to spare.

Albany and Districts under-16 A-section team.
Camera IconAlbany and Districts under-16 A-section team.

Caleb Haua was the pick of the bowlers with 3-25.

Ryley Valli was the leading scorer for the 16s team with 119 runs and Haua led the attack with seven wickets at an average of 11.7.

Albany’s under-14 B-section team were unable to chase down 168 on Thursday, bowled out for 125 against Broome.

Albany and Districts under-14 B-section team.
Camera IconAlbany and Districts under-14 B-section team.

However they bounced back to win their only game of the tournament, beating Upper Great Southern in the final match on Friday.

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