Frenchville bowlers fire in win
CRICKET: Opener Lachlan Hartley scored a classy half century to guide Frenchville to victory over Gracemere in Round 4 of the Cap Challenge on Saturday.
Hartley, who was eventually dismissed for 56, was at the crease for the best part of his team's innings as they reeled in the required target of 103 runs in 31 overs.
Frenchville skipper Joe McGahan said it was an outstanding win, which came on the back of an impressive bowling performance.
"The boys did everything I asked of them and we came through with the win,” he said.
"We bowled extremely well for the whole period. We took early wickets which I wanted and that drained up a lot of their runs so it worked out well for us.
"Lachlan Hartley is another player I wanted to have a big game and he came through and stuck around and nearly batted the whole innings out.
"Our games against Gracemere are always 10 out of 10. They're hotly contested and to come away with the win after (a loss) last weekend is massive.”
Gracemere won the toss and decided to bat first on a wicket which had some life in it early.
They were reeling at 3-7 before Luke Johnstone (20) and stand-in skipper Justin Peacock (22) steadied the ship with a valuable middle-order partnership.
Gracemere were eventually bowled out for 103 in the 33rd over.
Frenchville bowlers Corey Baker and Chaice Bidgood both finished with three wickets apiece while Jason Wells bagged a double.
Their run chase started well with Hartley and Jason Wells rattling up 63 before the first wicket fell.
Frenchville were just four wickets down when they scored the winning runs.
Gracemere's strike bowler Ben Milne was again rock solid, returning the economic figures of 0-6 off seven overs.
But it was medium pacer Bryce Heal who proved a revelation, taking all four wickets in his seven-over spell.
Peacock said a poor batting performance let Gracemere down but he was pleased his team rallied to defend its meagre total.
"We didn't get off to too good a start with the bat; it was very, very poor on our behalf. They bowled very well and they got the early wickets and put us under the pump,” he said.
"On the other side with the bowling I was very proud of the boys. They hung in and fought all day.
"With 100 runs you should never really be in the game but we fought hard and we made them earn the win.”
Peacock said the focus this week at training would be batting.
"We need to get numbers at training and just hit a lot of balls in the nets because in cricket you need runs on the board if you're going to have any chance of winning.”
McGahan said the signs were good for Frenchville moving forward.
"We should be able to keep our regular A-grade team for most of the season now that most of the rep stuff's done so looking to get a roll on,” he said.