Crookwell sunk by Hibo Green spinners

The Crookwell Golf Club’s tough season continued on the weekend, as they slumped to a three-wicket defeat against Hibo Green on Saturday afternoon.

Having won the toss and elected to bat first on North Park’s synthetic wicket, an under-strength Crookwell began positively, as Josh and Jake Paterson posted an opening stand of 29 before the latter was caught off the bowling of Archie Wearne.

Cleaned up: Martyn Travers is cleaned up by Michael McAlister during Crookwell's innings of 112 on Saturday afternoon. Photo: Zac Lowe.

Cleaned up: Martyn Travers is cleaned up by Michael McAlister during Crookwell's innings of 112 on Saturday afternoon. Photo: Zac Lowe.

From that point, the visitors struggled to build consistent partnerships, and despite a rearguard 25 from Bradley Smith, could only manage a total of 112.

Despite the low score, Crookwell stalwart Stuart Parsons said that he was impressed by the performance of some of his younger teammates.

“Good efforts there by some of the young blokes,” he said.

The wet weather prior to the match also impacted the wicket, which dried out as the day went on, Parsons said.

“I think it was a fair bit quicker when they were batting than when we were,” he said.

“We only had one boundary in our innings I think, whereas they had several.”

Although Crookwell’s batting lineup was far from its best form, Hibo’s bowlers also performed admirably and made life very difficult.

Green captain Dane Stevenson was the pick of the bowlers. His wily offbreaks captured four wickets for 19 runs from his seven overs, and caused a lower order collapse which saw Crookwell’s last five wickets fall for 11 runs.

He was well supported by Luke Hayward, Wearne, Michael McAlister, and Angus O’Rourke, all of whom picked up one wicket apiece.

Despite its lacklustre batting effort, Crookwell began well with the ball in hand and had Hibo Green wobbling early at 3-36.

“We could’ve had a couple more [early wickets],” Parsons said.

“First ball we put a catch down which didn’t help.”

At 4-48, Hibo were seriously in danger of mirroring Crookwell’s late-innings collapse, however at that point Luke Hayward strode to the wicket and began a 41-run partnership with Josh Wearne that changed the course of the game.

Hayward (28) and Wearne (26) could not carry Hibo over the finish line, but their stand ensured that the lower order could complete the job with three wickets to spare in the 24th over.

The key moving forward for Crookwell will be getting a consistent side on the park.

“We wanna be more competitive, but getting our nucleus there every week is the main thing,” Parsons said. “We haven’t had the same side two weeks in a row.”

The win sees Crookwell remain last on the ladder, with no wins and two losses from their two completed matches so far.

Meanwhile, Hibo Green climb to second place following their first win of the season. This is not due to a poor year, but is in fact reflective of the impact of the weather in the early rounds, which caused Hibo to draw their first two matches.

The other A Grade fixture on Saturday saw Hibo Gold (4-102) defeat the Workers Stags (97) by six wickets at Seiffert Oval.