After one day of cricket, Court House aren’t in the exact spot they thought they’d be in against Mornington but by no means are they unhappy.
The recently crowned one-day champions returned to the two-day arena, along with the rest of the Gunnedah District Cricket Association first grade competition, on Saturday and were sent in to bat first on a day where the temperature tipped over 40 degrees.
Young guns Oscar King (20) and Kaleb McIlveen (27) started solidly for Court House in the hot conditions.
King fell with the score on 31 which triggered the fall of regular wickets.
Mornington captain Jason Rose pushed through a heavy workload to claim 4-23 from 13.4 overs while a short spell from Trent Lumby proved expensive but fruitful with 2-20 from three.
Seven batsmen made starts for Court House with McIlveen the top-scorer followed by Ben Irwin whose pinch hitting produced 25 runs from 17 balls late.
Irwin finished not out as Court House declared on 8-141 after 41.4 overs.
“It was more a tactical move to declare after tea. We wanted to try and get them while they were tired,” Court House allrounder Sam Doubleday said of the declaration.
Mornington faced a tricky afternoon session and Irwin (3-16) struck the first two blows for Court House.
Mornington hit back and moved to 3-52 thanks to Marcus Hayne’s patient 21 from 59 balls.
However, Hayne was removed by Anthony Daniels (1-7) before another wicket fell to see Mornington finish the day 79 runs behind Court House on 5-62.
Doubleday said an outright victory was still “in mind” for Court House.
“Ideally we’d like to have taken a few more wickets but we’re comfortable with Mornington sitting at 5-62,” Doubleday said.
“The bowlers were a bit tired toward the end of the day so we’ll come back next week fresh and start again.”
With just the second half of this match to play plus one more round of two-day cricket before finals, Doubleday said every competition point was vital.
“It’s hugely important with where our season is at. We need big finishes towards the end of the year to get us as close to Albion as we can,” Doubleday said.
Albion sit on top of the two-day ladder with 68.51 points while Court House are second with 52.62 points.
The battle for third position is much closer with just 0.21 of a point separating Kookaburras and Mornington.
Kookaburras are third with 22.51 points while Mornington has 22.30 points next to their name.