Rivals topple the Tigers

A GOOD start from Norths Tigers opening bat Jon Harris was not enough to prevent his side slipping to defeat against Gracemere on Saturday.

The Rockhampton Cricket Ground wicket provided few demons and yet Norths threw away the chance of posting a competitive score as it slumped to 140 all out and in doing so failing to use seven of its 40 overs.

There were few signs that the Tigers would fold so meekly as Harris and fellow opener Kris McDonald (17) put on 50 runs for the first wicket.

That was the only partnership of any substance and from that point wickets tumbled at regular intervals.

Adam Matthews, coming in at first wicket down, also got a start when making 27 runs but when he was bowled by Luke Johnstone it was just a matter of time before the Gracemere bowlers mopped up the Tigers' innings.

Gracemere captain Michael Harth admitted it was tough to begin with.

“Their top order is strong,” he said.

Harth said Tigers went into the match with a long tail as some regular team members were not available and that made things a bit tough as they strived for a total.

Young paceman Ben Milne again did well in grabbing three wickets but the star with the ball was off-spinner Calvin Murray who bowled out his eight overs, conceding just 20 runs and was rewarded with four wickets.

“It (ball) is coming out real well for him,” Harth said.

Gracemere did not start the chase too well as Harth contributed just one run before he was back in the sheds.

From there though the result was rarely in doubt.

Johnstone, who had bowled tidily, opened the innings scoring 25 runs while wicket keeper Mark O'Keeffe followed up from taking two catches and a stumping by scoring 43 runs.

“He was in very good touch,” Harth said.

What made it better was O'Keeffe had only recently had stitches placed in a knee wound.

Also making an impression was Murray who followed up his good returns with the ball by hitting 28 not out and was at the crease with Aaron Harmsworth (16no) when the winning score was reached.

“It was a good all round performance by Calvin,” Harth stated.

The Gracemere captain had no complaints with any of his young players and made special mention of Johnstone who at just 18 years of age is turning into a handy all-rounder.

Sunday's one day matches, Gracemere against Capricorn Coast and Brothers and Norths will be in tomorrow's Morning Bulletin.

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