Whalers final collapse against Geraldton
Albany Cricket Association posted the lowest ever score in an A-section final as their dreams of a remarkable title victory at senior country week cricket were ended in brutal fashion by Geraldton last Friday at Pat Goodridge Park.
The Whalers had seven players making their country week debut in the first XI side but after a first-up loss, the new-look team responded brilliantly to win their way through to the decider with three successive wins.
Chasing a 15th Boan Cup and their first A-section title since 2014, the Whalers were again terrific with the ball as they reduced the unbeaten Geraldton to 133, batting first mainly thanks to a seven-wicket haul from seamer Coen Marwick.
However, there was little joy after that for the Whalers as they were 3-0 and then slumped to 7-28 before being skittled for the lowest total in the A-section final history.
Only Matt Walters made double figures in the dismal batting performance, their worst of the week as they were rolled for 34 to hand Geraldton a dominant 99-run victory and their first Boan Cup since 2005.
Openers Michael Ferreira, Nathan Dovey and English import Jujhar Johal all made ducks, while fellow senior tri Nathan Crudeli (1), Marwick (3) and Ryan Kinnear (1) also departed cheaply as Cody Bone (6-22) and Shayne Bidwell (2-3) powered Geraldton to victory.
Earlier, Marwick was superb with the ball as he bowled unchanged at one end on his way to figures of 7-58.
The all-rounder bowled 25.3 overs, nine of which were maidens, as he snared four of the top-five batsmen and claimed the key wicket of Bidwell on nine. Bone top-scored with 26 before he was run out by Aubin Spurr but Geraldton got valuable partnerships from their tailenders as they recovered from 5-35 to reach 133.
Crudeli (1-24 off 7 overs) and Spurr (1-21 off 7) were the other wicket-takers in the final.
“In the final we bowled really well, our seamers put us into a winnable position but our batting was disappointing,” he said.
“We went away from what was working for us, playing our shots and putting the pressure back on the bowler and we went back into our shell, played negative cricket and lost too many early wickets.
“Full credit to Geraldton, they bowled unbelievably well and were the best team all week. They had great balance and a lot of experienced country week cricketers.”
Crudeli praised his squad for their performance across the entire week, including a 35-run win over Peel in Thursday’s semifinal.
The Whalers made 155 batting first after solid knocks from Johal (42) and Walters (40) before restricting them to 120 with Ben Grey (4-27) and Marwick (3-36) outstanding.
“It was a massive effort to win three on the trot and get into the final,” he said.
“We showed a lot of heart when we needed to with such a young side.
“The seam attack was outstanding all week, they really were.”
Johal was the Whalers’ leading run-scorer at the tournament with 141 runs at an average of 28.2.
Marwick was the equal leading wicket taker in A-section with 16 scalps at 14.3, while Grey took 12 and Crudeli finished with 10.
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