Blues cruise in statement

October 09, 2017

Flawless: Cobram gun Shaun Downie brought up another career century during the weekends semi-final against Barooga.

Numurkah fired a warning shot across the bow of its Haisman Shield rivals on Saturday with a clinical performance.

After recruiting strongly during the off-season, the Blues were always going to improve on consecutive mediocre seasons on the pitch.

But the question will be how far this side can go after Liam Gledhill’s troops routed Tatura for 126 before comfortably chasing down the target within 25 overs.

‘‘It was a really pleasing performance,’’ Gledhill said.

‘‘We controlled the game from go-to-woe, which you don’t do all that often.’’

Tim Arnel led the bowling attack with 3-31, but marquee Cobram signing Shaun Downie (2-21) and returning (from injury) quick Matt Cline (2-24) supported him superbly.

Yet another new addition in Dylan Grandell hit 29 at the top of the order to start the chase well, with Downie (56 not out) once again prominent.

‘‘It’s obviously Dylan’s first year back, but he’s a Numurkah boy so it’s great to have him back, and he showed that he has plenty of potential,’’ Gledhill said.

‘‘He (Downie) is a quality cricketer and he’s glad he got off to a really good start. His experience in the field helped me to no end as well.’’

Gledhill said Saturday was all about just getting back out onto the pitch for another season, despite the dominant win.

‘‘There was nothing about a statement, we were just happy to play a good game of cricket,’’ he said.

‘‘We’ll move on to next week quickly because cricket is a funny game and it could bite us on the bum next week.’’

Meanwhile, Tatura will take plenty out of the defeat as the young side progresses into the season.

‘‘We learnt a lot from Grandell and Downie and how they went about it, they batted really well and any half-chance that they got they hit to the boundary,’’ Tatura coach Tim Kelly said.

Kelly top-scored for his side with 51, while wicketkeeper Matt Cornwall (28) dug in well at the top of the order during an 80-minute stint at the crease.

‘‘Corny was really good against the fast bowlers and will take a lot of confidence out of that, but he probably got tied down a bit against the spinners,’’ Kelly said.

English import Tom Dinnis was the pick of the bowlers for the home side, taking 2-26 and battling well against the class of the opposition.

‘‘Tom bowled really good areas and had a great contest between him and Downie and Grandell,’’ Kelly said.

‘‘But it was good to play against Numurkah and find out what we need to improve on early, rather than get found out later in the year.’’

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