The WA Country XI, featuring three Albany and Districts Cricket Association stars, endured a difficult Country Cricket Championships campaign after two Albany stars picked up injuries early in the tournament in Newcastle, NSW. ADCA guns Jeremy Wood and Nathan Crudeli (both Mt Barker) and Lincoln Joy (Royals) are all sporting the black and gold for WA but have managed just two wins from their eight games. Victoria handed them a crushing 92-run defeat in their opening one-day match of the tournament. Adding insult to injury, vice-captain Crudeli suffered a calf strain while bowling as Victoria slammed on 250 runs. After sitting out three matches, Crudeli made a comeback to the team as a batter but did not return to bowling until round seven on a modified run-up. Bulls captain Wood also suffered a knee injury in their second-round loss to NSW, which forced him out of the following six matches. WA had to wait until round three for the first win when they defeated Queensland in a T20 match by six wickets. Chasing 142 for victory, Lions’ all-rounder Joy played a key role with the bat, finishing unbeaten on 38 from 31 balls, which included three fours, to steer his side to their first victory. Their second win came in the round seven 50-over match after they defeated ACT by 17 runs. Joy again played a key role, but this time with the ball. The left-arm leg spinner destroyed the ACT middle order on his way to 4-34 from his 10 overs. Crudeli returned to bowling for the first time since the opening round and finished with 1-23 from seven overs, while Wood sat out of the match. WA needed to win their 50-over round eight match against Queensland to have any hope of making the semifinals but were bowled out in the 45th over 35 runs shy of their target. WA bowled Queensland out for 198 on the final over of their innings and Joy was again a strong contributor with bat and ball in his side’s defeat. He took 3-37 from 10 overs and top scored with 34 in their run chase. WA’s final match will be against fourth-placed South Australia.