Mixed returns for Albany teams

Taj StubberAlbany Advertiser
Jack Dawson made 129 against Bunbury and Districts.
Camera IconJack Dawson made 129 against Bunbury and Districts. Credit: Ryan Kinnear

Albany and Districts Cricket Association have ended a disappointing senior country week with just one victory in A-section, avoiding relegation in B-section and falling short in the D-section final.

The Albany Whalers returned to the annual week-long tournament in Perth as defending champions, searching for a 16th Boan Cup as A-section winners.

However it was a campaign to forget as Albany’s first XI were knocked out of semifinal contention after two losses on the opening two days.

A fighting performance against Busselton-Margaret River on Thursday saved Albany’s top team from playing off for relegation but they lost their play-off against Peel on Friday. After starting the week off with three straight defeats, the Whalers broke the drought on Thursday against Busselton-Margaret River thanks to a five-wicket haul from Englishman Ben Atrrill.

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Albany posted 172 as Leroy van den Dool top-scored with 59 and Ryan Kinnear chipped in with 39 before a strong bowling performance ensured they would not finish in the bottom two.

Attrill snared 5-25 off 20 overs as his spell helped remove their opponents for 125 in reply.

Busselton Margaret River were on 6-108 and in a good position to send Albany into a relegation match before the Whalers hit back claiming 4-17 when the game was on the line.

Albany lost their final game, a Twenty20 fixture, to Peel on Friday to finish seventh of the 10 A-section teams.

Aidan Dallimore fell two runs short of a half-century as Albany finished 6-122 but Peelchased down the target in the 18th over.

Albany Whalers captain Nathan Dovey praised the efforts of his team. “We just didn’t fire with the bat at all in the first two days,” he said. “Our bowlers bowled well to give the batters a chance of victory but our week was done on the first two days because of our batting.

“We turned around a disappointing first two days, against Bunbury on Wednesday, and set a really solid total and nearly knocked them off, which showed great resilience.

“Winning day four was really pleasing and a lot of the players will come away better cricketers; you can’t win them all but it was a real development week.”

Jack Dawson made a century on Wednesday and finished the week in the top five for runs, with 226 at an average of 45.

Albany’s second side avoided relegation in B-section, thanks to a brilliant bowling performance from captain Matt Heberle against Avon on Friday.

Albany won one game throughout their regular matches before losing their crossover game on Thursday to put them in the relegation match on Friday.

Heberle returned outstanding figures of 7-33 to rattle through Avon’s batting line-up and set up a small chase of 100 to win.

Albany made hard work of the victory as they slumped to 5-56, but a spirited innings from youngster Sam Want (22 off 46 balls) helped guide his side to victory.

Heberle and Tim Shepherd got their side over the line, reaching 7-103 in 29 overs to avoid relegation.

The skipper finished with 15 wickets at an average of 9.2 to be the third leading wicket taker in B-section.

After an impressive win in their semifinal on Thursday, Albany’s third side fell well short in the D-section final on Friday against Geraldton.

Geraldton posted 6-223 batting first before Albany were bowled out for a disappointing 98.

Albany fell to 3-20 early on as a partnership of 47 from Peter Ross and James Morris gave their side some hope. Albany lost their final seven wickets for just 31.

Albany won through the grand final after an impressive win over Donnybrook.

Jeremy Watson claimed 4-24 with the ball as Donnybrook made 184.

Grant Henderson (68) and Morris (52) were superb with the bat to help Albany win by six wickets with two overs to spare.

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