Geraldton go down, swinging, against metro cricket side

Victor TantiGeraldton Guardian
Nigel Routledge in a file image.
Camera IconNigel Routledge in a file image. Credit: Natasha Gilmartin

Geraldton were beaten but not broken in two representative cricket matches against Joondalup at the weekend.

The matches were held at Wonthella on a surprisingly true pitch given limited preparation — a credit to curator Adriano Paradella and his team.

The first game was a T20 on Friday night that Joondalup won by 39 runs.

Geraldton, sent in, made 5-100 thanks mainly to openers Riley Barham (21) and Alex Solomon (23), who put on 47.

Captain Nigel Routledge (20) also made runs, including a huge straight driven six, while Kade Gillingham (13) enjoyed a brief but busy stay.

Max Hallas (3-18) and Harmon Sekhom (1-11 off four overs) were the best of the bowlers.

Joondalup secured victory in the 15th over and finished at 7-139 with Tim Zilinski (42 off 35 balls) the top scorer.

Brandon Lusk (19) and Gerrick Morgan (18) also made runs.

Ian Oglesby (3-17) bowled well.

On Saturday, a 45-over game was played in which the visitors were vastly superior.

Despite sterling work by Mitch McAuliffe (2-25) and Gus Heberle (3-32), Joondalup tallied 9-202.

A highlight was McAuliffe’s first-ball yorker to dismiss Jarron Morgan.

Harry Blake (68) and Connor Smith (44) batted superbly before they retired and Jake Riccardi (43) also shone.

Geraldton limped to 8-40 in the reply at which point the game was called off. Though neither could get on top of the attack, Jeremy Bedford (10 off 62 balls) and Heberle (7 off 44) fought hard.

Harry Larmett (4-5) and Joel Riccardi (2-13) were best of the bowlers.

“It was a great opportunity for our young players,” Routledge said.

“Barham and Solomon impressed with the bat in the T20 and Oglesby’s bowling was also very good.

“In Saturday’s game, Heberle and Kodi Giltrow bowled exceptionally well against quality opposition on a deck that didn’t offer much turn and McAuliffe also did well.

“Joondalup were a great side but despite being in early trouble with the bat on Saturday, I didn’t feel we were way out of our depth and we were certainly competitive with the ball.”

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