Stepping out on to the representative scene for the first time this season, a new-look Glen Innes Cricket side took on Walcha for the second round of the Connolly Cup.
After a round one-washout, Glen Innes made the most of it when they hit the King George Oval turf against Walcha. Winning the toss and electing to bat, the home side inflicted damage early with the Glen Innes openers setting the standard.
The combination of Ritesh Shakhawat and Ian Law got the side off to an impressive start with 130.
Walcha cheered at their opening wicket of Law on 47 but Perry Stapleton ensured their celebrations were short-lived as he climbed to 46. Shakhawat was denied a century but managed to soar to 96.
“Ritesh has been in pretty good form now for a couple of years, he has probably been our number one batsman in town so we did expect it from Ritesh,” player Greg Wilkins said.
Brendan Jillet made 14 before Jack Symons made 39. Brandon Levy was dismissed for a duck. Tom Chard (3), Nathan Purvis (13no) and Matt Campion (2no) contributed to Glen Innes’ total of 8-285 from their 50 overs.
When Walcha stepped up to the crease, Ed Blomfield scored 28 but Stapleton’s bowling saw fellow opener Barry Hoy dismissed on two.
Paul Pittman was next to depart for Walcha off Brandon Levy’s bowling.
Wickets fell for Walcha as Chard made his mark on the match with a five wicket-haul. Walcha’s Jay Grills provided some resistance in the middle order with a knock of 57 and the visitors were back in the game.
Grills was sent back to the sheds by Levy before Brad Partridge added 28 to Walcha’s total.
In the end the Glen Innes bowlers were too good for their opponents, bowling them out for 198. Chard finished on 5-33, Jack Symons on 2-32, B Levy 1-36 and Stapleton 1-32.
Wilkins said it was neck-and-neck but persistance paid off for the Glen Innes side led by Andrew Symons.
“It was a good game, it went right to the wire really even though there was 80-90 runs in it. In the second drinks break they only seven an over to catch us but they didn't have the wickets in hand to get through,” he said.
“In my opinion Andrew Symons' captaincy was the difference the whole game.
“He put a couple of our bigger hitters up the order and that's pretty much how they got away.”