Marist end Redbacks’ title defence
Reigning premiers Hay Park are out of the running for this year’s title after being defeated by 57 runs at the hands of Marist at Forrest Park on Saturday.
Marist were excellent in their first final in some years, batting first and posing a commanding 7/237 from their 50 overs, thanks to an excellent knock by Lee Sorfleet (61 runs).
A brutal spell of 4-36 by Redbacks coach Chris Waddingham kept his side in the game, but they were dismissed for 180 in their run chase, courtesy of Reece O’Connell’s three-wicket haul.
The match at Forrest Park North started shakily for the Blues with the shock dismissal of ace batsman O’Connell for just eight in the first over.
O’Connell was caught by Mark Steven at short cover off the bowling of Redbacks skipper Jono Whitney.
That crucial wicket was the low spot of what was a strong middle order surge, as the next six Marist batsmen all got starts, passing the 20-run mark.
Former WA Country selection Corey Fitt and English import Tyler McGladdery set the innings back on track with a 46-run second wicket stand, before Sorfleet and Chris Laker (39 runs) built on the tally with an 88-run partnership to take the Blues to a healthy 4/170.
With Sorfleet on 58, youngster Brayden Clarke joined him in a jolly little cameo of 30 runs off 10 scoring shots, which included three massive sixes off the bowling of Whitney.
Matt Anderson followed suit with a quick-fire 21 to help the Blues to a respectable 7/237.
Marist’s twin pace attack of Anderson and Laker did not waste time in their pursuit of wickets, dismissing both Kris Miler (0) and Dave Taylor (four) cheaply.
Whitney came in to stem the tide and for a couple of hours fought long and hard for 91 runs off 122 balls, before youngster Clarke added insult to the injury by dismissing the Redbacks skipper with the score on 7/152.
The last three wickets yielded 28 runs, the bulk coming from the bat of the broad-shouldered Waddingham, who added 24 runs.
However the heroics of firebrand Waddingham and Whitney was not enough to keep the Redbacks in the race, as they bowed out in the semi-finals.
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