In another close tussle at Lake Street synthetic, the battle against Bulahdelah also saw a relatively low scoring match – although runs can be at a premium on the grassy field.
Sent in by the visitors, bowling was again quite dominant and the tight efforts and slow field made scoring a premium.
Seb Strong (12) and Graham Robinson (16) made a decent fist of matters before the first wicket fell at 35 off 11 overs.
Losing Blissett without score and then Robinson soon after put Bula in a strong position at 3 for 39.
Then, after a short come back via Alan May and Alan Thomas, the drinks break saw the Dolphins at 4 for 54 with the loss of the veteran all-rounder May for 14.
The second session saw skipper Brett Monks ride the wave of progress and he dominated a partnership with Thomas, who stuck by him, until he became the 5th wicket at 97.
When Thomas was out at 104, the Bulahdelah bowlers applied the screws and the flippers didn’t motor as the remaining batters had their scoring shots well reeled in.
The innings petered out to 7 for 107 with S.
Undries (18) helping the total – still something to bowl at on the slow ground that is Lake St.
The Bulahdelah chase saw an early wicket in the 4 th over but that was followed by good consolidation against a tight GL attack led by Seb Strong with a miserly 0-16 off 8.
Luke Ayres tried to take the game away from the hosts with an attacking 31 off 36 and at 2 for 44 in the 17th, the match was evenly poised.
At 5 for 48 at the drinks, it was still looking in the balance and then a superb set of overs by the seniors in May (3 for 16) and Monks (0 for 13) off their 8 each, saw Bulahdelah battle to 6 for 68 in the 30th and still a hill to climb.
A flashing 14 (2 sixers) by Grant Morante put the lads from down the freeway in with a shot, as the ever careful Number three bat and rock of the innings, Todd Harris, kept on keeping on.
Then, with another wicket seeing the hosts seemingly back on top at 7 for 75, in strode number 10 Nathan Fletcher to batten down and grind it out with Harris.
When he went for a hard fought 15 at 9 for 96, it was on a cliff edge and the Dolphins were eyeing their first win of the season.
Harris kept his nerve and number 11 Geoff Matheson, with an invaluable 12 no, did likewise to eke out the runs and a top win in the 38th over.
Full credit to all the GL bowlers and fielders who tried valiantly to defend the smallish total, with young all-rounder Landon Blissett bowling another beaut spell for 3 for 16 after having kept wickets for 15 overs.
Congrats goes to the Bula guys who maintained their belief and batted it out in what was a classic cricket game.
Special mention must be made of number three Harris who remained no 20 in a marathon innings for his side.
The Great Lakes side will learn some more from the hardness of this match and they will keep at it.
Two really close losses in a row but lots of positives to move on with and they can look forward to more good cricket ahead.