Gunnedah District Cricket Association: Court House grind out win over Kookaburras

In a see-sawing final day between Court House and Kookaburras at Wolseley Park, Ben Irwin was the man who made the crucial plays to lead Court House to victory.

“He was just bowling fast and a good line and length – he ended up with five wickets,” Court House’s Sam Doubleday said.

After missing the first day of the match last weekend, Irwin made his presence felt on Saturday with a wicket with his first ball.

He didn’t let up and took the next three wickets to have Kookaburras – who had started the day on 1-20 chasing 131 runs for victory – at 5-39.

Farran Lamb (2-27) chimed in with the wicket of Beau Clarke (13) in the 30th over before Anthony Daniels (2-18) claimed a pair of scalps in quick succession to see Kookaburras at 8-65.

Kookaburras captain Shane Riordan (34*) and James McGowan (20) then combined for the best partnership of the day to have Court House worried.

The duo knuckled down and stayed at the crease together for about 17 overs to move the score to 98.

“I think they had two wickets in hand and needed 30 runs and I thought ‘it’s starting to get a bit close’,” Doubleday said.

However, Irwin returned to remove McGowan before Lamb wrapped up the innings with the wicket of number 11 batsman Trent Winsor (1).

Along with Irwin, Doubleday said the rest of the Court House bowlers chipped in.

“Our captain Farran always bowls tight lines and Anthony Daniels and Isaac Harris did their jobs to tighten things up,” Doubleday said.

The Court House victory came on the back of an even day one.

Court House had batted first and made it through 56 overs to post 130.

McGowan (4-36) put Court House on the back foot at 3-24 with the first three wickets of the day.

Vinnie Winsor (1-28) chimed in with a wicket of his own before McGowan struck again to have Court House reeling at 5-51.

Ben Haire (29) and Lamb (34) boosted the score before Daniels (23) Boyd McCormack (11) helped push the total along to 130.

Doubleday described the Daniels-McCormack partnership as pivotal.

“The tail chipped in with the bat which is always good to see,” Doubleday said.

“He [Daniels] stuck in with Boyd and put on a handy partnership.”

Cameron Milne (2-12) and Luke Ellis (2-4) were also amongst the wickets for Kookaburras.

Kookaburras attempted to make it through the rest of the day without dropping a wicket and almost did it.

Openers Cameron Milne and Tim Kelly saw out the opening spells of Lamb and Harris – who both bowled seven overs each – but there was still a couple overs left to play.

Doubleday (1-0) produced the late breakthrough to remove Milne (16) heading into the final day.