NORTH Albury opener David Farrell hit only the fifth double century in senior Border cricket on Saturday to lead a brutal assault on the Dederang bowling attack at Bunton Park.
The star left-hander smashed 208 not out as the Hoppers rebounded from two consecutive Provincial losses to stride to an intimidating total of 4-411 (dec), with Farrell starring with a brilliant double century.
The innings is the fourth-highest recorded in senior Border cricket, behind Wayne Ashton’s 270 not out for Wodonga against Tallangatta in 1995-96, Earl Stewart’s 214 no for Albury against Ebden in 1923-24 and Steve Wood’s 209 for Tallangatta against SS & A in 2002-03.
Artie Ellwood scored an unbeaten 200 for Wymah against Albury in a semi-final in 1929-30.
Yesterday, Hoppers veteran Dave Castello rated the innings as the second best he had seen — behind Farrell’s unbeaten 167 in last year’s grand final against Wodonga.
“It was awesome to watch — it was virtually faultless and I can’t remember him offering any chances,” Castello said.
“It would have to be the best innings I’ve seen, maybe just behind that century he made in the grand final, purely because he made that when we were chasing runs in a grand final.
“Steve Wood made 190-odd against us a few years ago and that was an awesome innings, but Faz’s innings yesterday was right up there.”
Farrell put on 136 for the first wicket with veteran Rod Barton (136) and then 86 Josh Warren-Marmo (50) as the Hoppers dismantled the visiting attack, with leg-spinner Andrew Creamer (2-102 off 24 overs) Dederang’s only multiple wicket taker.
Amazingly, the Hoppers were sent-in after Dederang won the toss, with Farrell and Barton surviving some testing early overs before going on to set the platform for the massive total.
Castello said the marathon innings took its toll on Farrell.
“He was struggling a bit towards the end. I think from about 180 onwards, he only hit singles because he was too tired to swing,” he said,
North Albury then capped off its dominant day when Michael Booth claimed Brendon Morris for 13 as the visitors reached 1-30 at stumps.