Hazelbrook Cricket Club U16s vs Faulconbridge
Despite a savage knock of 98 from Max Bragg as they set an imposing total of 180, Faulconbridge could not prevent Hazelbrook from taking first innings points at Gloria Park last Saturday, a result which opens wide the race for the final two semi spots.Resuming on the second morning on 8-123 with the rain threatening to force an abandonment, Hazelbrook were long odds to grab the win, but Huw Bowman's 71 saw the home team clear as they finished on all out 197.Building on a destructive 64 from Lucas Opdam, Bowman played with composure and panache in the drizzle to be last man out.Support came from Tom Bosman (12), Alex Roberts (8) and Zac Mann (7). Coming to the crease with 23 still needed, last man Pat Noble (5 not out) needed to keep his nerve and did so admirably.This was a great team effort from Hazelbrook who recovered from 4-23 as all batsmen chipped in and put in time at the crease. The game was threatening to fizzle to a damp draw when a sporting second innings declaration from Faulconbridge set Hazelbrook 50 off 6 overs for the outright. They fell just 10 runs short of what would have been a remarkable win.Bowling honours went to Lucas Opdam (3-32) and Pat Noble (2-19), while for Faulconbridge, Bragg, McCreanor and Maxwell were among the wickets. C. Hunter scored 27. This was a great game played in a great spirit. The sportsmanship among the players in the U16s this season has been exemplary from all teams, win or lose. With one round to go, the race is on to see who will play Lithgow in the final.