Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Tigers too strong

Rochester Tigers continued their undefeated run with a 68-run win against Northern United.

LUKE MCMANUS December 10, 2013 4:20am

Northern United was gallant in its defeat to Rochester Tigers, falling 68 runs short during its run chase at Bunnaloo Recreation Reserve on Saturday.

Set an arduous, but achievable target of 213 by the Tigers, United fought on for more than 72 overs to be eventually bowled out for 145.

Needing to eclipse its season-best total of 149 runs, set in the second innings against Tongala the previous round, the task at hand for United was always going to be difficult.

Against the undefeated Tigers and a disciplined bowling attack, United skipper Brad Jones said he was prepared for a tough day at the office.

‘‘We knew we were up against it from the start,’’ he said.

‘‘Our focus was to try and bat the 80 overs, then our thinking was the runs would eventually come.

‘‘They bowled really well, kept their lines tight and had a field set which was difficult to score against.

‘‘We actually batted for about 30 overs longer than we have this season, which is a positive I suppose.

‘‘It reinforces that we can hang around and a 200-run plus score isn’t too far away.’’

Despite losing opener Darrell Holgate (0) early and cheaply, a consolidating partnership was posted between Luke Hartshorn and Dan Tayles, which put United back on track momentarily.

Tayles’ promising innings of 19 was short-lived after he was caught by Sean Williams off the bowling of Jake Logie.

Hartshorn, whose 25.6 batting average has been a shining light for United this season, hung around to top score with 34 only to be dismissed by all-rounder Matthew Stokes.

Another solid partnership was forged between Jones (28) and Brendan Unwin (18) before Tigers skipper Grant Wachter was introduced into the attack, claiming the first of his three wickets for the afternoon.

Wachter achieved the breakthrough when Unwin edged a delivery through to the waiting hands of Daniel Major, before trapping Jones lbw soon after.

‘‘We were able to make starts,’’ Jones said.

‘‘It would have been good to get a couple of those partnerships over 50 runs or so.

‘‘We do that and we’re in with a chance, but not to be.’’

The dismissal triggered a middle-order collapse with Shanaka Silva (0) falling to Wachter, before teammate Adam Ward picked up the next two wickets, claiming Adam Thompson (1) and Darren Wright (6).

An unbeaten 16-run knock by Brodie Unwin was all United could muster towards the end of the innings, with Tiger Russell Sherriff taking the final two wickets — Trent Starkey (4) and Zack Vesty (4) — of the afternoon.

The win, which sees the reigning premier’s dominance intact for the sixth consecutive week, pleased Wachter who praised his bowlers in what was a ‘‘tough, grinding result’’.

‘‘It was a pretty tough win for the boys,’’ Wachter said.

‘‘We bowled in really good areas and kept the pressure on throughout the innings, but to their credit they kept us honest and batted really well, Luke Hartshorn and Brad Jones especially.

‘‘Four dropped catches early on didn’t help and was a bit frustrating, but we knew if we continued to bowl in the right areas and contain it for long enough something had to give.

‘‘About the 50-over mark we made a breakthrough and took some wickets.’’

Wachter said he was looking forward to the second half of the season when undefeated teams Echuca, Kyabram Fire Brigade and Tigers would meet for the first time.

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