Great Southern cricket has two teams pushing for premiership favouritism

READY TO DRIVE: Port Elliot key batsman Hayden Gordge has his eyes fixed on the ball on Saturday in A grade cricket against Goolwa. Gordge scored 34 runs, but his team lost to top side Goolwa.
READY TO DRIVE: Port Elliot key batsman Hayden Gordge has his eyes fixed on the ball on Saturday in A grade cricket against Goolwa. Gordge scored 34 runs, but his team lost to top side Goolwa.

Cricket returned in 2019 to the Great Southern Cricket Association, with four A Grade games. Goolwa and Willunga have not only extended their advantage at the top, but quite incredibly, they can’t be split, even by percentage.

They had wins over Port Elliot and Yankalilla respectively. Willunga lost only two wickets in batting first against Yankalilla, making a total that the Tigers weren’t able to get. There was some resistance from Ryan Fisher (62) and Doug Jones (35).

Port Elliot were in early trouble against the Magpies, at 2/8 and lost wickets late, but managed a total that would end up challenging Goolwa, particularly when they lost two wickets before a run had been scored. Captain Victor Robertson made the difference, supported by Fred Nissen.

Wins also to McLaren Districts and Noarlunga threatened to create a gap of the top four. The Crushers made a competitive total with the bat, but were initially tested by a spirited Mount Compass batting outfit. The dismissal of the returning Mark Nash triggered a collapse, with the Bulls losing their last seven wickets for 29 runs.

Encounter Bay pushed Noarlunga right to the end, falling 10 runs short in their chase of 148. The Bays finished strong with the ball, but so did the Shoes. In a further parallel, the wicket of Cameron Lintern also triggered a string to wickets to halt the momentum.

A half a game now separates Noarlunga in fourth from Encounter Bay in fifth. The Crushers (Willunga) and the Shoes (Goolwa) face tough opposition this week in two-day matches. Encounter Bay (Mount Compass) have an opportunity to leapfrog the others. Elsewhere, Yankalilla host Port Elliot in a game that will dictate if there’ll be any chance of finals this season.

The initial Meyer Shield squad has been selected, which will be trimmed to the traveling 13 to contest in the Torrens Valley over the Australia Day weekend. They are Jason Scarff, Sam Carlyle, AJ Burgess, Matthew Ray, Cameron Bullard (Noarlunga), Andrew Britt (McLaren Districts), Jayden Crees, Victor Robertson, James Lawrence, Andy Evans (Goolwa), Sean McIvor, Luke Goldner (Willunga), Doug Jones, Luke Bartlett, Joe Tyliss (Yankalilla), Cameron Lintern, Sam Hoffmann (Encounter Bay) and Patrick Dodd (Port Elliot). The team will be managed by Luke Harding.

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