A TRICKY Oliver Oval wicket got the better of the Mitchell Cricket Council under 14s on Sunday when suffering a five-wicket loss at the hands of hosts Lachlan.
The Western Zone Inter Council rivals went into the round four match with a win apiece and Mitchell coach Clint Bryant was looking for his side to build on that record.
But after winning the toss and electing to bat first at the Cowra venue, Mitchell struggled to put together a competitive total.
Hamish Siegert (24) and Fergus Fergusson (28) made a steady start, but after the first wicket fell for 44, the visitors were in trouble.
“The openers got us off to a solid start, they were very cautious, it was a pretty spiffy wicket so it was quite interesting to bat on. It was a bit soft, so the balls popped up on them,” Bryant said.
“We are 41 at the first drinks break after 17 overs, but once they got out we lost a lot of quick wickets there in the middle.”
Following that middle order collapse, Bryant thought his side would be lucky to reach triple figures. But Bathurst duo Tom Lynch (33 not out) and Jacob Ryan (12 not out) helped Mitchell to 8-126.
Still, in reply Lachlan got the runs it needed with more than 10 overs to spare and five wickets in hand. Opener Mikey McNamara (25) and Harry Bayliss (41 not out) did most of the damage.
“Their opener, he batted a long time for his 25, he batted close to 30 overs. Harry Bayliss, he’s quite a classy player, he knows what to do and when to do it. He’s in the New South Wales Academy,” Bryant said.
“It just comes down to a bit of experience, they’ve got six returning players from last season and we’ve got two.”
Bryant nominated left-arm spinner George Cumming (1-21 off 8.3) and Ryan (1-19 off six) as the best of Mitchell’s bowlers.
Young Lithgow spin bowler Blake Goldspink come on as first change and bowled two overs without luck.