By SAM DEBENHAM
BATHURST City have secured second spot in the Bathurst District Cricket Association first grade and set up a major semi-final with Oxford Centennials for the second straight year after eclipsing St Pat’s Old Boys on Saturday.
After some point alterations on the ladder, the Saints actually went into day two sitting inside the top four, but with Redbacks resuming their first innings at 4-77, needing just 35 more to win the first innings, it was unlikely that they would stay there.
Nonetheless St Pat’s finished their season on a bright note as captain Adam Ryan hit his maiden first grade century and Connor Slattery broke through for his first 50 in the top grade.
Still, it didn’t change the result which was decided in the first half hour of play.
Resuming their 49-run partnership, Scott Rice and Shabbir Dhamani carried their side past their target before both falling in quick succession, Rice for 59 and Dhamani for 46.
Knowing that he and his brother Adam would have to do the bulk of the bowling in St Pats’ second innings, Redbacks captain Ben Orme called an end to his team’s innings at 6-131.
Batting a second time, the Saints knew that only a monstrous haul of bonus points or a freak outright win would get them into the finals based on what they knew about the other matches in the round.
Slattery played the anchor role after losing opening partner Jared Rowe cheaply, and with Ryan alongside him the two set about racking up some big runs.
Ryan has long been regarded as one of the cleanest stroke players in the competition, but has made a habit of hitting brisk 50s and 60s without turning them into bigger scores.
After he was gifted a couple of lives, he wasn’t going to miss this opportunity and he hit shots all around the wicket on his way to 113.
At the other end Slattery steadily made his way to an unbeaten 60, Ryan eventually declaring at 2-180.
It left Redbacks needing 161 off just 12 overs to win, a fairly remote possibility.
Still, without even intending to, they gave it a shake thanks to Greg Adams (56 not out) and Kirby Earle (48 not out).
After losing Ben Orme for 14 the pair tore into the Pat’s attack and Redbacks finished at 1-120.
“We got out of the game what we needed to get out of it,” Ben Orme said.
“We needed the win to get us into the top two. We wanted to spend some time at the crease. We bowled well last week, that’s all you can ask.
“I thought there wasn’t much point batting on too far after we got in front. We were missing Jarrod Urza, Cohen Schubert and Joey Coughlan as far as bowling went, so Adam and I were going to have to do a lot of bowling.
“It was great to be able to get Kel Cooke back for a game as well. He took 0-4 off five overs and bowled seriously quick.”
City now get the chance to square off against the in-form Ox-Cents side who they defeated in the corresponding match last year, before going on to win the title when their rematch in the grand final was washed-out.
HAPPY: Ben Orme was content with what his Bathurst City team achieved from their final round match with St Pat’s Old Boys which concluded on Saturday. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK 030715cpats4a
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