Lions end four-year drought

Taj StubberAlbany Advertiser
Royals' Ryley Valli bowls.
Camera IconRoyals' Ryley Valli bowls. Credit: Laurie Benson

Royals have produced the biggest upset of the Albany and Districts Cricket Association A-grade season, winning a thriller over the previously undefeated Railways in a rain-affected match on Saturday.

It was a breakthrough result for the Lions, having not beaten the Tigers since round one of the 2015-16 season.

The reigning six-time A-grade premiers were defeated for the first time since round one last season as Lions skipper Mitch Green guided his team to a tense four-wicket win that came in the final over of the round eight clash.

Railways' Aidan Dallimore.
Camera IconRailways' Aidan Dallimore. Credit: Laurie Benson

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Players were off the field for more than an hour when the Tigers were batting, and when play resumed it became a 36-over-a-side game.

The Tigers finished on 5-147 after the Lions reeled them back in following a lightning start from opener Coen Marwick.

That total became 157 after the use of Duckworth-Lewis, leaving the Lions 158 to win.

Royals' Mitch Green led the way with bat and ball.
Camera IconRoyals' Mitch Green led the way with bat and ball. Credit: Laurie Benson

Green led the way in the run chase, his sparkling form again on show as he posted a second half century to go with two A-grade hundreds in five innings.

He also claimed two important wickets against his former side to help them to a fifth win, moving within eight points of the ladder leaders.

The Lions were always ahead of the required rate in their chase but when Green was out lbw on 89 from 93 balls, there were a few nervous moments to come.

Spearhead Nathan Crudeli bowled the 35th over off a short run-up, his first over of the game, and conceded three runs to leave the Lions needing two to win off the last.

Royals' Angus Thompson took a wicket on debut.
Camera IconRoyals' Angus Thompson took a wicket on debut. Credit: Laurie Benson

Veteran Ryan Tindale bowled a dot ball but Lions No.8 Scott Worsfold slapped a ball over the top as he and Jack Richards scrambled through for three to get the win with four balls remaining.

The Lions lost two wickets in quick succession when Jack Steel and Ryley Valli fell, before Green and Hastie fell with less than four overs remaining with their side at 6-152 but they held their nerve at the death.

Green top scored with 89 that included eight fours and two sixes to take his season tally to 373 runs.

Railways seamer Hayden Davies led the bowling attack, taking 3-24 off his eight overs.

Railways' Nathan Crudeli.
Camera IconRailways' Nathan Crudeli. Credit: Laurie Benson

Earlier a steady innings from Aidan Dallimore (39no) helped his side post 5-147.

Marwick hit five boundaries and a six in his dashing 35 from 29 balls and Crudeli chipped in with 26.

Meanwhile the threat of fires in the region forced the round eight fixture between Manypeaks and Mt Barker to be postponed.

Players from both sides were fighting fires and a decision was made to call the game off, with the ADCA expecting the match to be rescheduled.

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