TALLANGATTA fought back from a gutsy opening partnership between St Patrick’s youngsters Matt Crawshaw and Tom Ellwood to split the honours on day one of their Cricket Albury-Wodonga clash at Xavier Oval on Saturday.
Crawshaw, 17, and Ellwood, 19, showed maturity beyond their years to survive a torrid first hour on a lively pitch before pushing on with a 102-run stand.
The ladder leader then hit back and restricted the home team to 243 with the prized scalps of Luke Restall and Jason van der Merwe for nought and three turning the match.
Skipper Mat Armstrong was pleased with the way his charges fought back into the contest.
“We might be just in front if it doesn’t rain this week and the outfield stays as it was,” Armstrong said.
“But if they get a couple of early wickets they will be back in the driver’s seat.
“It’s pretty even.
“Their openers were pretty gutsy as there was a bit of sideways movement in it early and Woody (Steve Wood) and Sammy (Stephens) were bowling fairly well.
“They got through the tough period and cashed in a bit after that.”
All-rounder Andrew Lade was the destroyer with the ball, grabbing 5-92 off 29.5 overs, with Wood restricted to just seven overs after tweaking his calf.
Wood still managed to have an influence taking a catch and first slip and bat pad in what is believed to be a first for the veteran.
St Patrick’s skipper Heath Naughton said both teams had the initiative at various stages.
“We would have liked a few more, but we stuck it out fairly well,” he said.
Belvoir made 203 against East Albury at Alexandra Park.
The Eagles looked dangerous with Cameron Lodding (52) and Nat Sariman (40) at the crease but were unable to hold the momentum against a persistant attack.
Chris Bridle continued his solid form with the ball to grab 4-39.
East Albury undid some of its good work by collapsing to 2-21 at stumps.
North Albury’s David Farrell and Ash Borella hammered Albury’s attack at Bunton Park.
Farrell (128) and Borella (112) put on a 188-run opening partnership as the home team amassed a daunting 9-338 from its 80 overs.