City have emerged as Armidale Cricket’s first grade front runners after beating a dominant Hillgrove side in their round five clash on Saturday.
Hillgrove hadn’t played a side who batted out their 45 overs and kept every opposing team to under 100 until they took on City.
Our boys were really up for the challenge which was good to see.Kyle Taylor
A strong performance with the bat was needed if City were to upset the reigning premiers.
Andrew Skinner and Andy Sawyer set the tone with a 29-run partnership.
Michael Allen stepped up to put 45 runs on the board along with captain Kyle Taylor who managed 49.
City finished on 7-161 after their innings.
“Our batting really stood up on the weekend which was really good,” Taylor said.
“We had a plan, to win the toss, fingers crossed, and bat first and see if we could post a good score.
“At the start of the game the boys said they wanted about 200 runs but with the bowling attack we took in there, I said anything over 160 to 180 would be a reasonable target batting first.”
Hillgrove’s run chase was dealt a blow early when Dan Hogan bowled opener Matt Baillie for a duck.
Karl Triebe sent fellow opener Andrew Brownlie back to the sheds for eight before Hillgrove captain Matt Schaefer came in to steady their innings with 28 runs.
Triebe picked up the key wickets of Schaefer and Brad King to finish with 3-38 while Dylan Yeomans also nabbed three in Andrew O’Sullivan, Tom Armitage and Liam Howard.
Skinner grabbed one while Simon Stubbs bowled Hillgrove’s top scorer Dick Heagney with 35 runs for Hillgrove to be all out for 138.
“The boys did well with the ball as well,” Taylor said.
“It was a bit of a surprise for us when we got Matt Baillie out cheaply and then Andrew Brownlie early as well.
“Our boys were really up for the challenge which was good to see. They were hungry and from the first ball when we were bowling they were into the Hillgrove fellas.”