A HAT-TRICK by Ricky Small-Boyce and two upset results capped a fascinating weekend of A-Grade cricket in the Busselton-Margaret River Cricket Association last Saturday.
Bottom side St Marys kept their slim hopes of a finals berth alive when they overcame Margaret River Hawks, while Dunsborough thrashed top side YOBS in the other encounter at the Dunsborough Playing Fields.
At Margaret River, St Marys skipper Danny Hatton made a triumphant return to the game after a six-week injury layoff when he opened the batting with vice-captain Kurt Davis and put on 48 runs for the first wicket to give Saints the early upper hand.
Buoyed by strong middle-order contributions from Nick Ritchie (35) and Jono Lloyd (37), and a hard-hitting unbeaten 33 from Dwayne Franklin late in the innings, Saints bumped their total up to 8-195 from 50 overs.
Left-arm spinner Rumesh Silva's 3-31 was the highlight for the Hawks attack, which missed Mat Kent's penetration when it was needed most. Hatton then opened the bowling in the Hawks innings and bowled 10 overs unchanged, conceding only 23 runs, while his fellow opening bowler Ben Mattock bowled beautifully and finished with match-winning figures of 3-22.
Left-arm spinner Rumesh Silva's 3-31 was the highlight for the Hawks attack, which missed Mat Kent's penetration when it was needed most.Allan Miller
Mattock capped a memorable performance with a brilliant low catch at cover to dismiss Aaron Thomas, as Hawks succumbed to 84 all out in 38 overs.
Hawks are badly missing wicket-keeper batsman Shane Joyce, who seems likely to miss the rest of the season with a wrist injury. Young stand-in keeper Harvey Fisher did a fine job in Joyce's place with the gloves, not conceding a bye in the entire 50 overs for St Marys.
At the Dunsborough Playing Fields, Caribbean pocket dynamo Ricky Small-Boyce continued a great personal season when he achieved a rare A-Grade hat-trick for Dunsborough against YOBS.
Small-Boyce clean bowled Craig Jones, then trapped Nayton Colombera lbw, and immediately bowled Chris Brook with successive deliveries in the same over to see YOBS plunge to 5-26 in reply to Dunsborough's daunting score of 7-202.
Lachie Milton, Jesse Gautrey and Jack Omodei chipped in with two wickets apiece for Dunsborough. Phil Watts was the backbone of the Dunsborough batting with a solid 72, and was well supported by Chris King, Aaron Mott and Cam Morris who all hit 20s.
Nayton Colombera captured two wickets for YOBS, while paceman Neil Langenhoven was as tidy as ever, conceding only 24 runs from 10 overs. The only highlight in YOBS' total of 74 all out was a return to form by Troyden Thorp, who hit 30 runs.
In B-Grade, one of the shortest matches in recent BMRCA history was played at Gloucester Park in Margaret River when Hawks were routed for 28 all out in 18.5 overs by Vasse, who then took 6.4 overs to knock off the required runs without loss.
Scott Young (5-15) and Tom Perks (4-7) were the destroyers for Vasse. St Marys also found run-scoring difficult when they were bowled out for 42 on the turf wicket at Bovell Park, this time by Cowaramup.
Ben Shepherd (5-16) was supported by skipper Thomas Coulson and Richard Bramston with two wickets each for the Bulls. Cowaramup responded with a winning 2-43 in only 11.2 overs, with Mike Hibberd hitting 21 of those runs.
By far the best contested B-grade game took place at Dunsborough, where YOBS mounted an impressive total of 8-197 from 45 overs (Justin Gilbert 50, Alex Logan 45), only to be overtaken in style by Dunsborough's response of 3-202 from 42.2 overs.
Chris Reagan enjoyed an outstanding return to cricket for Dunsborough, taking 3-23 with his offspin and then struck an undefeated 126 to win the game almost single-handedly.
Nat Marsden, playing his first game for six seasons, was another familiar old face to turn out for Dunsborough.
In C-Grade, Vasse mounted an impressive 5-214 from 40 overs at the Margaret River Nippers Oval (Ian Truscott 60, Stuart Price 53) and were given a scare when Hawks responded with a great 8-192 from 40 overs (Garrath Stewart 61, Danny Weston 74). St Marys (4-117) were overtaken by Nannup (5-125) with 10 overs to spare, with Rob Menzies making a valuable 36 not out in his first game in the Nannup stripes. The remaining game saw Cowaramup (126 all out) beaten by Dunsborough's 3-135 in 32 overs, with Shamus Henry (46) an Jack Byrne (50 not out) standing out for the winners.