NORTH Albury looks set to remain the only undefeated team in Cricket Albury-Wodonga’s Provincial competition after routing Wodonga for 152 on a lively Les Cheesley Oval wicket on Saturday.
After winning the toss and bowling, the Hoppers made the most of the conditions with quicks Josh Mallichan and Robbie Hartnett near unplayable.
But it was rookie Jayden McFarlane who made the initial breakthrough by claiming the prized scalp of BJ Garvey for 13 and from that point the wickets tumbled.
Mallichan was the pick of the bowlers with 4-43 off 20 overs, while skipper Greg Daniel continued his good form by taking 3-44 off 19 overs.
Daniel said the Hoppers’ bowlers had put the team in a strong position to record their fourth successive win.
“I think we’re on top,” Daniel said.
“We kept them to 150 and probably should have had them out for 110 after we missed a fairly easy run out towards the end.
“They got an extra 40 from what they should have.
“At the start of the day we would have taken 150, though.
“The ball was jagging everywhere early and doing too much to get the edge and I thought we bowled well.”
Wodonga had seven batsmen reach double figures, but only all-rounder Beau Kennedy pushed on with the job and made 48 to give the Bulldogs something to defend.
The ladder leader looked to be coasting in the run chase before the day’s penultimate over when Kennedy struck in successive balls to claim the wickets of Zac Stuart (12) and Tom Hemsley (0).
The Hoppers will resume at 2-25.
“We were going along well, but lost two wickets near the end which was disappointing,” Daniel said.
“There is a fair bit of batting left though.”
Meanwhile, Albury paceman David Tassell picked up six wickets as his team dismissed East Albury for 173 at Alexandra Park.
In a crucial match to the Crows’ chances of avoiding relegation, Tassell grabbed 6-43 with strong back-up coming from Brad Smith (2-23) and Michael Booth (2-61).
Crow Nick Hanlon continued his solid start to the season by making 44.
St Patrick’s has a slight advantage over Tallangatta after making 266 at Rowen Park.
After losing openers Trent Ball and Grant Ellis cheaply, the Patties regrouped with Drew Cameron (75), Luke Restall (47) and Braedon Hensel (50).
James Weighell and Mat Armstrong grabbed three wickets each for Tallangatta.