WODONGA captain Robbie Jackson has conceded the Bulldogs were outplayed in every facet after suffering a 71-run loss to North Albury in their Cricket Albury-Wodonga tussle at Les Cheesley Oval on Saturday.
In a clash where emotions threatened to boil over on several occasions, the Bulldogs had to dig deep in the final hour to stave off outright defeat after young Hopper quick Robbie Hartnett had the home team reeling at 7-35 at stumps.
Hartnett claimed the remarkable figures of 7-20 off 10 overs in probably the spell of the season.
“They smacked us,” Jackson said.
“They were a lot better than us in every facet of the game. We deserved to get a smacking.
“You can only play as well as the opposition lets you and the opposition didn’t let us play well at all.
“They batted well on a wicket that had a lot in it and their bowlers, especially young Hartnett, showed us how to go about it as well.
“He deserved the figures he got.”
It was North Albury’s fourth successive win with Hartnett leading a strong all-round performance.
Set 155 for victory, the Hoppers resuming at 2-25 and, after losing Ash Borella almost immediately, were put on the road to victory by Josh Warren-Marmo (62) and David Farrell (36).
They put on a 114-run stand before skipper Greg Daniel came to the crease and topscored with 71 to ensure the visitors first innings points.
But Hartnett wasn’t content with that.
He was virtually unplayable in claiming seven overs and it was only time that denied North Albury maximum points on a wicket that offered the bowlers plenty.
The loss leaves Wodonga precariously placed in sixth position after five rounds with a crunch match against East Albury this weekend.
The Crows went down to a rejuvenated Albury by seven wickets at Alexandra Park.
Chasing a modest 173, Chris Ball and Joel Morris made short work of the target by reeling off a club record 108-run opening partnership to put the visitors on the way to successive wins.
Captain Craig Mannagh said it was another pleasing performance.
“We are slowly building our way up and hopefully we can continue to improve,” Mannagh said.
“We have some tough games ahead though and nobody is getting ahead of themselves.”