Narrabri District Junior Cricket Association defeated Gunnedah by 147 runs on Sunday in round three of the 2020 Central North Under-15s intertown junior cricket competition.

The two Navy Pool teams met at Collins Park where, after winning the toss, the hosts batted first and scored 222 runs in 45 overs before bowling out the visitors for just 75 runs in 23 overs.

Bernard O’Connor opened the batting for Narrabri and formed partnerships with Jonty Fowler (11), skipper Sid Harvey (13), Clay Hoffman (5) and Marcus Colantonio (21) to get the hosts on the front foot early.

When Marcus was caught out in the 24th over the score became 4-94. Bernard was still out in the middle at that stage but he was eventually dismissed for 30 runs from 72 deliveries in the 28th over which made the score 5-109.

The opener’s patient knock helped get runs on the board and give the middle order a chance to bat with freedom and guide the hosts to an uncatchable lead.

That is exactly what they did.

The side’s number six batsman Alistair Wheeler top scored with a run-a-ball 59 in a 78-minute innings which included six fours and two sixes. Number seven batsman Lucas Hogan chipped in with 33 runs from 35 deliveries then number eight batsman Darcy Gleeson scored an unbeaten 11 before Narrabri lost its final wicket in the 45th over having piled on 222 runs.

The home side was comfortable with that total and it did not let Gunnedah get anywhere near it.

Narrabri used five bowlers during its successful defence and all five celebrated at least one wicket.

Lucas Hogan (3-5 from two overs) and Clay Hoffman (3-21 from seven overs) took three wickets each, Noah Mace (2-14 from five overs) finished with two, and openers Sanchit Jagadeesan (1-6 from four overs) and Sid Harvey (1-21 from five overs) chipped in with one each early in the innings.

Sid, Narrabri’s captain, struck first with the ball when he dismissed Gunnedah opener Brendan Irwin for a duck in the fifth over.

That wicket made the score 1-19, which quickly became 2-25 when Narrabri’s other opening bowler, Sanchit, knocked over Gunnedah’s first drop Aidan King (3) with the last ball of the eighth over.

Noah replaced Sid in the 11th over and started his spell with a wide. However, with the next ball he bowled Gunnedah’s other opening batsman Callum Cooper who departed for a team-best 15. Callum was the only batsman from the chasing side to reach double figures.

Noah’s wicket made the score 3-34 which became 4-37 the following over when Clay became the fourth Narrabri bowler to take a wicket.

The two Western Razorbacks boys dealt Gunnedah another double blow soon after. Noah took the fifth wicket in the 17th over to make the score 5-52 before Clay took the sixth in the 18th over which made the score 6-54.

Lucas replaced Noah in the 21st over and struck immediately, taking a wicket with his first ball as the score became 7-69.

Clay made it 8-74 in the 22nd over, then in the 23rd Lucas took the last two wickets as Narrabri cruised to a 147-run win.

The victory saw Narrabri extend its lead at the top of the table to seven points.

It went into the match on eight competition points, four more than Tamworth Blue, which had the round three bye so remained on four points, and Maitland Gold, which lost to Upper Hunter to pick up just one point.

The previously last-placed Upper Hunter, which entered round three seven points adrift of Narrabri on one point, moved from fifth to second on the pool ladder after beating the Maitland side by 24 runs in the other round three Navy Pool game.

In round four this Sunday, Narrabri has the bye which will give the other four teams a chance to make up some ground and reduce the points gap between themselves and the pool leaders.

The fifth and final pool round will be contested on Sunday, November 22, when Narrabri travels to Tamworth to challenge Tamworth Blue in what could be a battle for first place on the pool ladder.

The semi-finals will be played on Sunday, December 6, followed by the decider on Sunday, December 13.

Another Narrabri Junior Cricket Association intertown team was in action on Sunday.

The under-13s team travelled to Tamworth for the sides’ round three match which the hosts won by 134 runs.

Tamworth batted first and finished on 8-208 after 40 overs, then knocked over Narrabri for 74 runs in 28.5 overs.

Several Narrabri players were also in action in the under-17s competition for the combined Narrabri and Gunnedah Namoi team.

Namoi took on Coalfields in a round four match in Gunnedah and went down by 80 runs.

The visitors batted first and made 8-165 in its 50 overs.

Namoi could only manage 85 runs before losing its final wicket in the 31st over of its chase.

Namoi will travel to Scone this Sunday for its round five match where it will play against Maitland Maroon.

Meanwhile, the Narrabri Junior Cricket Association’s under-11s team will play its round three match this Sunday away from home against Armidale.

Like the under-15s, the under-13s team has the bye for its pool in round four on Sunday.

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