Ferals put up a strong fight against Valley

Northam Cricket Association: Next round will see last season's premiers Ballardong host Ferals at Bert Hawke 1. Photo: Shutterstock.
Northam Cricket Association: Next round will see last season's premiers Ballardong host Ferals at Bert Hawke 1. Photo: Shutterstock.

Two days of intermittent rain forced a change of venue for Round 4 of the Northam Cricket Association's 40-over season.

Perennial powerhouses Grass Valley clashed with newcomers Ferals on the synthetic pitch at Jubilee Oval. Valley won the toss and elected to bat in fine conditions.

Ferals made early inroads into the Valley batting lineup, removing both openers with the score on 27 after 7 overs.

The highlight was a fine catch by Jack Parmenter, sprinting around the boundary to intercept a powerful stroke and remove the dangerous Bailey O'Driscoll.

Kitt Byfield was then joined at the crease by Pete Clements and the two veterans steadied the Valley innings.

They reached the 20 over drinks break at 2 for 65, despite some shaky moments between wickets.

Soon after drinks, Ferals broke the 40-run partnership to leave Valley at 3 for 67.

Byfield, as he does so often, anchored the Valley innings, ticking the scoreboard over while wickets regularly fell around him.

He reached his half century with the score on 131 with 4 wickets remaining.

With 7 overs still to be bowled on the small ground, Valley were in position to reach a sizeable total.

However, Caleb Austin immediately drew a top edge from Byfield which flew high.

The keeper went back, held the catch and the game was on even terms again.

Ferals were unable to wrap up the tail quickly as the remaining Valley batsman all contributed to the total, particularly Clancee Thompson (20).

This enabled Valley to reach the difficult total of 164, all out in the 40th over.

Another highlight in the field was a sharp piece of fielding by Josh Pallette, who scooted around the boundary, picked up and threw strongly to the keeper, to find Cody Even, coming back for a second, short of his ground.

All 8 of the Ferals bowlers claimed a wicket each. Notable performers were Troy Sims (1 wicket for 13 runs from 8 overs with 4 maidens), Callum Norrish (1 for 15 from 7), and Fletcher Page (1 for 20 from 7).

In reply, Ferals faced the formidable Valley opening bowlers Bailey O'Driscoll and Cody Even.

They struck in the 5th, 6th and 7th over to reduce Ferals to 3 for 12 and dent their aspirations of reaching the target.

Some of the Ferals batsmen ensured the side went down swinging with Fletcher Page (28), Caleb Austin (14), and Josh Pallette (18 not out), clouting a number of 4s and 6s. This allowed Ferals to reach a respectable 104 all out from 29.6 overs.

Similarly to Ferals, all 8 of the Valley bowlers took a wicket with Cody Even (2 for 11 from 5) and Clancee Thompson (2 for 5 from 5) taking multiple.

In the other game, the powerful Ballardong side (6 dec. for 137 after 20 overs) were too strong for Toodyay (all out for 42 after 11.3 overs).

Next week's fixtures will see Ballardong host Ferals at Bert Hawke 1, and Bakers Hill travel to Toodyay town oval to play Toodyay; both on Saturday starting at 12.50pm.