Illawarra falls to Central Coast in Country Championships opener

Illawarra captain Adam Berwick has lamented his side’s failure to play for the full 100 overs after they slumped to a 133 run defeat in the opening round of the Country Championships on Friday.

The team started positively, reducing Central Coast to 4/93, however the match turned as Ryan Fenning and Dylan Robertson combined for a 185 run partnership. Central Coast ultimately finished with 5/283 and it proved too great a total for Illawarra to chase down. 

Key victory: Djali Bloomfield bowling for ACT Southern during their victory over Riverina at the Country Championships on Friday. Picture: Robert Peet

Key victory: Djali Bloomfield bowling for ACT Southern during their victory over Riverina at the Country Championships on Friday. Picture: Robert Peet

“It was a tough day,” Berwick said. “It was a bit disappointing, but Central Coast recovered well. We were on top for the first 35 overs, but they had a couple of good batsmen who got set and took the game away from us from that 35 over mark.”

“We played 70% of a game, which isn’t good enough to get over the line at this level.”

Experienced opener Graeme Batty top scored for Illawarra with 56, however once he lost his wicket, the team struggled to establish stable partnerships, managing just 7/150.

“When we lost a couple of wickets we struggled to get the spinners away and like the first innings, we lost our way through the middle overs.”

In Friday’s other game, a century to Brayden Ambler wasn’t enough to secure a victory for Riverina, as ACT Southern fairly comfortably chased down their total of 2/247. Ben Mitchell top scored for ACT Southern with 72 not out.

The win puts ACT Southern firmly in the box seat as they prepare to face Illawarra on Saturday in a must win game for Berwick’s side. 

Country Championships

Saturday November 11 10am: ILLAWARRA v ACT SOUTHERN Keith Grey Oval, RIVERINA v CENTRAL COAST Cavalier Park

Sunday November 12 9.30am: ILLAWARRA v RIVERINA Croome Road Oval, CENTRAL COAST v ACT SOUTHERN Geoff Shaw Oval