JUST one point separates Hillgrove and Easts on the Armidale District Cricket Association ladder after both recorded wins on Saturday.
After winning the toss, Ex-Services opted to bat first against Hillgrove at Lambert Park.
Servies’ batting lineup was no match for Hillgrove’s bowlers who tore through the side to bowl them out for 128.
"We didn't get a lot of wickets very quickly,” Hillgrove captain Matt Baillie said.
“There were a couple of periods where we had to work to get them out but our bowlers bowled tight enough to not go for as many runs which is good and that eventually brought the wickets.
"Adam Thurlow bowled eight straight.
"He took the new ball and made it really tough for the batsmen to score and then Matt Schaefer took 3-29 bowling the first change.
"To keep them to 128, we knew that was chaseable.”
Baillie and Schaefer opened the batting for Hillgrove and troubled Servies right from the opening ball.
The side needed less than 18 overs to reach Servies’ total and only lost the wickets of Schaefer on 44 and Michael Cursons in the process.
Baillie finished on 57 not out.
"The opening bowlers, although they bowled well we managed to get on top of them early and then it was too hard for them to recover,” he said.
"To chase that total only losing two wickets ourselves, that was really good for us.”
Across town, Easts won the toss and sent Barbarians in to bat.
The Baa Baas’ opening pair of Jarrod Burton and Will Green fell cheaply before Shannon Rafferty and Clarrie Moran combined for 57.
Cameron Mundy added 32 when he came in to bat at number eight. However, wickets continued to fall for the Baa Baas who were all out for 157 in 44 overs.
Easts looked to improve on the batting performance of the previous week where only one batsman reached double figures.
It proved to be the same story again for the side whose top order batsmen all fell for less than 20 runs each.
Ben Hanlan came in at number six and steadied the ship with 69 runs to his name.
Hanlan’s performance was the difference between the sides as Easts reached the Barbarians total with wickets in hand.
Easts captain Sam Uphill said in their first year in the top grade, Barbarians are going to be a team to look out for.
"They bowled well, you can't take it away from them and I don't think we batted with enough patience again,” he said.
"It was a pretty good deck so we had to score runs and we were lucky Ben Hanlan did it.”
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