Dunsborough takes the lead in close race to finals

TOP THAT: Reilly Johnstone has achieved an incredible feat on the cricket field by taking three separate hat-tricks in just two weeks. Photo Supplied.

TOP THAT: Reilly Johnstone has achieved an incredible feat on the cricket field by taking three separate hat-tricks in just two weeks. Photo Supplied.

DUNSBOROUGH have hit the lead on the Yates Shield points table for the first time this season, after defeating reigning premiers St Marys in Saturday's A-Grade cricket encounter at Barnard Park.

The win by Dunsborough over Saints, coupled with Margaret River Hawks' victory over YOBS at Gloucester Park, means that only 5 points now separates first from third in the race to host this year's grand finals.

Dunsborough are leading on 81 points, followed by Hawks on 80 points and YOBS on 76 points.

St Marys are fourth on 41 points and will miss the finals.

The threat of rain last Saturday resulted in a sensible pre-game agreement between skippers Danny Hatton (Saints) and Ian Purcell (Dunsborough) to shorten the game from 50 to 45 overs each.

Put into bat on a slightly wet track, Saints started surely with 47 on the board before losing Jack Marwick, but were restricted by tight bowling from left-armer Jesse Gautrey (2-20 off 9 overs) and surprise packet Michael Vogelsanger (3-26 off 8 overs).

Hatton (34) and Ritchie (27) were the best of the bats for Saints in their score of 7-141 at the expiry of their overs.

Dunsborough lost an early wicket in the chase but steadied through Chris Reagan (55) and Phil Watts (41) with a match-winning partnership which took the total to 100 before further loss.

Despite a flurry of wickets in the middle-order, Dunsborough cruised to victory - and top spot on the ladder - with nearly 10 overs to spare.

Down at Margaret River, YOBS had the early upper hand when they dried up the Hawks run-scoring with opening bowler Neil Langenhoven (1-16 off 10 overs) at his economical best.

Dropped catches allowed Hawks to get away, and Sri Lankans Charith Jayampathi (27) and Rumesh Silva (42) led the scoring, along with a typically hard-hitting 36 from Grant Garstone, as Hawks recovered to post a competitive 7-166 from 50 overs.

Dropped catches allowed Hawks to get away, and Sri Lankans Charith Jayampathi (27) and Rumesh Silva (42) led the scoring, along with a typically hard-hitting 36 from Grant Garstone, as Hawks recovered to post a competitive 7-166 from 50 overs.

YOBS had the ever-reliable Harvey Golding (37) to thank for giving them a chance, but left-arm spinner Rumesh Silva's devastating 3-15 off 10 overs decided the game in Hawks' favour.

Legspinner Peter Crimp's three wickets enabled him to reach the coveted 300-wicket career milestone for Margaret River Hawks Cricket Club, joining a select band of bowlers.

In the end YOBS succumbed to 123 all out in 41 overs, handing Hawks their first A-Grade win in the competition for the New Year.

B Grade

In B-Grade cricket last Saturday, Vasse comfortably defeated YOBS by eight wickets at Vasse, Cowaramup beat Hawks on the Cowaramup turf track by eight wickets (with 20 overs to spare) and Dunsborough beat Saints on the turf wicket at Bovell Park.

The outstanding individual performance for the weekend was an innings of 105 by 52-year-old Ray Pes for Dunsborough in his side's winning total of 173. Saints were dismissed for 134 in reply.

The B-Grade points table is now incredibly tight with only 5 points between first and fourth place.

YOBS lead the way on 83 points, Vasse and St Marys are both on 81, and Cowaramup are on 80 points.

Dunsborough, fifth on 71 points, can still make the finals.

C Grade

In C-Grade cricket we have a controversy over a result, with the Duckworth-Lewis method being called on to decide the winner for the first time in the BMRCA competition history.

Playing on the synthetic wicket at Barnard Park headquarters, YOBS scored 198 all out in 39.5 overs and Hawks replied with 6-163 off 33 overs when the game was called off due to poor light.

Hawks played with only nine men, and the WACA is this week being called on to decide whether, for the purpose of deciding the Duckworth Lewis formula, Hawks should be regarded as 6-163 or 8-163. This ruling will decide the winner of the game.

In the other C-Grade games Dunsborough beat St Marys at Dunsborough and Vasse beat Nannup at Vasse.

The C-Grade points table sees Dunsborough leading on 95 points, followed by Vasse on 89 points, YOBS on 64 points and Nannup fourth on 44.

The LIFE OF REILLY

ELEVEN-YEAR-OLD Busselton boy Reilly Johnstone has achieved an incredible feat on the cricket field by taking three separate hat-tricks in just two weeks. How many bowlers can claim to have done that? Reilly, who plays for YOBS White in the Busselton-Margaret River Junior Cricket Association, took the amazing figures of 7 wickets for 8 runs (including two hat-tricks) in his Stage 1 game at Vasse on February 15. He also achieved two direct hit run outs in the field.

Then last Saturday Reilly continued his purple patch when he took three wickets in three balls, yet again, for the third time. It's Reilly's first season of cricket. "I'm really enjoying cricket," he said. "I just try to bowl at the stumps. I like learning how to get better, also my Dad helps me a lot."

Coach James Trewren says his pupil is a pleasure to teach. "He works hard at training and is rapidly improving - he deserves every accolade that comes his way. He always puts the team first and encourages his team mates."