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Tonkin century blasts County home in tense contest

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Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser

An unbeaten century from evergreen veteran Craig Tonkin has kept North County’s finals hopes alive, as they powered to a 69-run win over Collingwood Park in a hostile round 16 Albany Cricket Association A-grade clash at Hard North on Saturday afternoon.

In what loomed as a must-win game for the Bulldogs with Park’s final regular fixture against Denmark the following day, Tonkin starred with the bat as he helped his side chase down their victory target of 209.

With so much on the line, there were several heated on-field exchanges between the two sides, including one when Tonkin received a drink and a change of gloves after 10 overs that seemed to incense Park skipper Tim Pyle.

Tonkin had the last laugh, however, as he ground out a superb hundred as the Bulldogs secured victory three wickets down in the 40th over.

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Collingwood Park's Ben Grey in his delivery stride.
Camera IconCollingwood Park's Ben Grey in his delivery stride.

After sharing in a 127-run opening stand with ex-Test player Neil Ferreira, Tonkin brought up his second ton of the season with a towering six — the second of his lengthy innings.

Tonkin hit 21 boundaries in his polished knock, carrying his bat to reach 129 not out as the Bulldogs piled on the runs to reach 3-277 from their 50 overs. It was crucial runs for the Bulldogs, boosting their percentage which could determine who finishes third between themselves and Park.

Ferreira contributed a patient 34 while Aaron Williams chipped in with 40 not out in the Bulldogs sizeable total.

Park began well with the ball but fast bowler Hayden Burling broke down with a back injury after four overs and never returned to the field. Pyle claimed 2-40 off his nine overs and Jesse Spaanderman returned 0-45 from his 10-over spell.

Earlier a mature innings from Leroy van den Dool helped Park amass a defendable total, the young right-hander falling two short of a maiden A-grade half-century.

Matt Heberle compiled 44 and some lusty late-hitting from Ryan Penn (26) pushed Park to 208 all out.

Gary McGlade took 3-40 to go with 2-29 from captain Graeme Weinert and a tight Williams spell that returned 2-35 also off 10 overs.

Collingwood Park's Leroy van den Dool pulls a ball into the leg side.
Camera IconCollingwood Park's Leroy van den Dool pulls a ball into the leg side.

Meanwhile in the other round 16 match Railways posted an imposing 5-322 from their 50 overs against Denmark at McLean Park.

Led by Zane Marwick who scored 152 not out and 93 from all-rounder Nathan Crudeli, the Tigers posted yet another 300-plus score despite the best efforts of Ryan Gaerth (3-55).

The Magpies were in early trouble at 4-32 after Coen Marwick took three top-order wickets and never recovered as Shawn Meek (42) and Gaerth (25) provided some resistance down the order. The home side were eventually bowled out for 129 which ended their finals hopes.

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