IN A big upset, West Augusta have come out victorious over South Augusta in a bowler-friendly encounter at ETSA Oval on Saturday, October 21.
After bowling the Hawks out for 82, South began their run chase full of confidence with a near full-strength line-up.
But they were halted by bowler Tom Baulderstone, who claimed five wickets to hand West their first victory of the season.
West seem to have a side that on paper lacks the talent compared to what they have had in previous years, but they managed to score an important win over one of the competition’s strongest sides.
Kale Irvine and Jordan Bulman opened the batting, getting West off to a solid start by seeing out eight overs from the opening bowlers Ben Trewartha and David Robinson.
However, when South bowler Aaron Vater came on he had an immediate impact. First he claimed the wicket of Bulman for 27 and then sent Chris Sheil straight back to the pavilion for a first-ball duck.
Irvine was dismissed in the next over by Robinson for 7 and so the collapse began.
Baulderstone’s brilliance with the ball wasn’t replicated with the bat, as he became Vater’s third victim and then Mark Benbow became the fourth.
Tyson Martin was caught, Matthew Anesbury was bowled and despite some resistance from Luke Davies, the innings was ended soon after.
Vater seemed unplayable for the West batsmen with figures of 5/17 and at half time, it certainly seemed that South would go on to claim an easy victory.
But West were adamant that they could defend their small total and this was displayed in their bowling and fielding.
Robinson and Todd Kernahan were out to make a good percentage of their target, but Sam Daw put an end to that by claiming the wicket of Kernahan for four. Robinson fell two overs later which gave West some hope.
A solid partnership between Sam Maule and Craig Shirley got South back on track as they looked to guide the Bulldogs home, but they then lost their final eight wickets for 22 runs.
Neither Nick Callary or Greg Shirley could repeat their efforts from last week and when Marcus Gill was run out, the writing was on the wall.
West got the win they were after as Baulderstone finished with 5/20 and Mark Myers took 3/30.
South were left to wonder how they let the game slip, while West’s refusal to give in could drive them for the rest of the season.
West will carry confidence into next weekend’s clash against reigning champions Quorn, who have lost their first two matches of the 2017-18 season.
Meanwhile, South Augusta will be looking to bounce back by claiming a crucial win over league leaders Central/Stirling.