RSL Cricket Club’s first XI kept its hopes of playing finals cricket this season alive on Saturday with a 98-run win against second-placed Civeo at Collins Park in the 11th round of the 2019-20 campaign.
The fourth-placed RSL entered the penultimate round of the Narrabri District Cricket Association first grade one day competition two wins (12 points) behind the third-placed Western Imperial Razorbacks.
That meant that in the last two rounds RSL needed to win both of its matches while also needing the Razorbacks to lose both of its games.
If that was to happen, which is still a possibility, the two sides would finish the season level on points, so RSL would also need to finish with a superior nett run rate to leap above the Razorbacks into third spot.
Saturday’s results saw RSL get half the job done.
It batted first at Collins Park after stand-in skipper Chris Watkins won the toss and the team scored 164 runs in 43 overs.
The chasing side only played with 10 batsmen and RSL took its required nine wickets in 25 overs, with Civeo only able to score 66 runs in that time.
In the other game Tatts defeated the Razorbacks by just one run in a thriller at Leitch Oval.
At Collins Park it was the Brayshaw show on Saturday afternoon as brothers Cooper and Jake Brayshaw dominated against Civeo.
Cooper Brayshaw did his damage with the bat, celebrating his 21st birthday in style with a game-best 86 runs on a day where all other batsmen struggled.
His brother Jake then cleaned up with the ball, taking a match-best 5-17 from seven overs.
Earlier in the game Cooper Brayshaw opened the batting and lost seven partners before departing in the 42nd over of the innings with his wicket making the score 8-157.
RSL’s number four batsman Shane Murphy (14) and Brayshaw’s opening batting partner Cody Kember (13) were the only other two players from their team to reach a double figure score.
Civeo skipper Lachlan Cameron (3-20 off four overs) and Nick Smart (2-28 from nine overs) were the only two multiple wicket takers for Civeo.
Smart then came out with Jade Lees to open the batting and the pair combined for a 19-run partnership before Lees (5) was trapped in front by Danny Laws in the sixth over.
Luke Meppem entered at number three for Civeo and did not last a full over in the middle, also trapped LBW and departing for a duck in the Nathan Trindall-bowled seventh over which made the score 2-20.
Just 15 more runs were added to the total before a third LBW claimed Lachlan Woolford (6) who was dismissed by Kember.
In the 17th over Jake Brayshaw took the first wicket of his five when he dismissed Smart (24) who was caught by Kember who covered a lot of ground to get under a high ball before taking a brilliant grab.
That made the score 4-47 which became 6-58 after 21 overs after Brayshaw dismissed Tim Shields (3) and Cameron (7) who were caught by Watkins and Murphy respectively.
Kember took the next wicket when he dismissed Brady Jenkins (5) in the 24th over.
Brayshaw then took his last two wickets in the 25th over, bowling Joel Hogan (1) before dismissing Pat Mowle (1) who was caught by Trindall.
This Saturday in the 12th and final round of the season RSL will challenge Tatts at Collins Park, while the Razorbacks and Civeo go head-to-head at Leitch Oval.
The preliminary final will be played between the teams ranked second and third on Saturday, March 7, and the grand final will be played on Saturday, March 14, against the top-ranked team and the preliminary final winner.To order photos from this page click here