Newtown has farewelled hard-hitting batsman Wayne Dunlop in style with a resounding win over South Dubbo in Saturday’s RSL-Whitney Cup clash.
Dunlop posted 122 last week to help the Tigers post 271 in his last hit-out before moving to Newcastle, and the Hornets could only post 213 in reply.
That was largely thanks to 15-year-old debutante Jesse Spang, who took 4/17 from just six overs.
The resurgence in form came too little too late for Newtown – their 2017/18 Whitney Cup campaign is now over – but deprived the Hornets of the chance to build up some momentum going into next week’s semi-final against Macquarie.
Tigers skipper Steve Skinner said it was nice to finish on a high note, and with brother Matt set to return from injury next year, there were some good indications for next season.
“We’ve actually been a bit hot and cold all year,” he said.
“It’s a shame we didn’t do the hard yards a few games before to put ourselves in the position to make the semis, but it wasn’t to be.
“Everyone went okay yesterday. Last week was the big one especially Dunners (Wayne Dunlop) and Mitch (Russo). Dunners was huge, he batted through most of the innings and Mitch, it was a big innings for him as well. He’s got a lot of 20s and 30s and hadn’t gone on to make a bigger one and last week was hopefully a sign of things to come.”
There are plenty of good signs for the Tigers.
Russo posted 62 last week and Bailey Edmunds continued his strong form, taking 2/47. Then there was Spang.
“He made his debut in first grade and he killed it,” Skinner said
“He scored 23 not out in the first day of the game when it looked like we were going to fall short of 250 at one stage, but he batted well beyond his years.
“He bowled good line and length, bowled both ways. You can’t ask much more from a young bloke – can’t ask much more from anyone.”
Souths skipper Mitch Bower lamented the fact the Hornets’ middle order “wasn’t able to capitalise on a good start”.
Corey McDean (11), Will Lindsay (14), Angus Norton (42), Mat Finlay (46) and Henry Railz (75) all dug in with the bat, but the rest of the line-up failed to fire, with Mark O’Donnell and Bower himself both unable to get on the board.
“I think it was a combination. They did pretty well and our shot selections at times wasn’t ideal,” Bower said.
“We know we’ve got to work on a few things before next week if we want to compete.
“Adam Wells, we’re looking for him to spark up a bit, he needs to put a bit more effort in and we’ll be right!”