Tourist Hotel Cricket Club’s first XI kept their minor premiership hopes alive with a thumping 10-wicket win against Tatts in round nine of Narrabri District Cricket Association’s 2023/24 first grade one day campaign at Leitch Oval on Saturday.

Tourist and Tatts both entered the weekend two wins adrift of RSL, and the defending champions were guaranteed to maintain that buffer after they found out on Friday that they would earn an automatic seven points after the Western Razorbacks forfeited their match.

It was Tourist Hotel who got the job done as they cruised past Tatts in comfortable fashion in the first red ball game of the calendar year as the competition resumed following the T20 season, which came to an end late last month.

Tatts batted first after their skipper Jakeb Nipperess won the toss and they were only able to score 84 runs before losing their final wicket in the 33rd over of the innings. Tourist openers Nick Tomlinson (41*) and Hamish Duncan (23*) then put on their side’s largest first-wicket partnership of the 2023/24 campaign to guide them to victory in 18.4 overs.

The win was Tourist Hotel’s fifth of the season and saw them move to 42 points, remaining 12 behind ladder leaders RSL (54) and moving six clear of third-placed Tatts (36). The Razorbacks remained on 10 points and cannot finish any higher than fourth place.

Tourist Hotel dealt an early blow in the round nine contest when Dylan Segundo trapped Tatts opener Craig Gleeson in front for a duck to make the score 1-5, and then Segundo’s opening bowling partner Duncan took a wicket three overs later when he knocked over Nipperess (12). Both of those Tatts batsmen were caught behind by Tourist gloveman Lachlan Woolford.

Tatts went into the 15-over drinks break at 2-35, and while the game was in the balance at that point, Tourist Hotel gained the ascendency during the second session by claiming 5-39 as Tatts limped into the final drinks break on 7-74.

It was Matt Conroy and Danny Laws who did the bulk of the damage for the bowling side as they claimed two wickets each and combined for four consecutive maidens at one stage to put Tatts on the back foot. Conroy struck first in the 17th over and it was the big wicket of the day as he dismissed Tatts’ top-scorer of the match, Josh Campbell (22), who was caught by Segundo. Laws knocked over Ed Currall (13) in the 24th over and Hugh Lennon (2) in the 26th before Conroy took his second wicket to remove Karl Hatfield (5) in the 29th with the assistance of a Harry Pattison catch.

Pattison was then thrown the ball for the 30th over and it took him just three deliveries to make an impact as he took the wicket of Ryan Steel (6), who was caught by Segundo.

Tourist Hotel skipper Luke Meppem brought himself on to bowl the first over after drinks and he was able to clean up the tail as he dismissed Bill Wood (5) and Saad Badahur (0) in the 31st over to make the score 9-77 and then brought the innings to a close with the first delivery of the 33rd over when Segundo held onto his third catch of the day to help secure the wicket of Dylan Brown (5).

Meppem finished with game-best figures of 3-3 from 1.1 overs, while Laws (2-19 from seven overs) and Conroy (2-20 from nine overs) took two wickets each and Segundo (1-11 from six overs), Pattison (1-11 from two overs) and Duncan (1-20 from seven overs) claimed one each.

It was a clean sweep of the NDCA best and fairest points for the winning side as Duncan was awarded three, Tomlinson picked up two and Conroy earned one.

Tourist Hotel will continue their pursuit of the minor premiership this Saturday when they take on RSL in a top-of-the-table round 10 clash at Leitch Oval. The RSL men would wrap up top spot with a win in that match, while a win for Tourist would see them move within one win of the ladder leaders with two rounds to go. The other round 10 match will see Western Razorbacks challenge Tatts at Collins Park.

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