MOWBRAY came from an unlikely position to snare a first innings victory and take another six Riverside wickets in the first round of Cricket North’s two-day games.
Needing 101 runs with just five wickets to spare, the Eagles lost their last recognised batsman just nine runs in when Rohan Pooley was caught behind off Sam Artis (2-24).
But if that made Riverside favourite, no-one told either James Storay nor number eight Sam Freeman.
Storay had never made it past 34 in A-grade save for a T20 half-century three years ago, but the bowling all-rounder batted three and a half hours to make a career-best 96.
The left-hander put on 71 with Freeman, who also made a career-best score of 30, before eclipsing Riverside’s total with Blake Cassidy at the other end.
By the time he was dismissed by Tom Garwood to end the innings the Eagles had made 220, and not even a quickfire 65 from the aforementioned Blues skipper could take the shine off the win.
“That partnership between James and Sam got us across the line basically,” Mowbray captain John LeFevre said.
“They batted sensibly and played some really good cricket shots - shots that they knew they could play - so it was really pleasing they could dig in and produce a partnership of that length which is what we want our top order doing as well.
“Tom Garwood batted well and took a few risks but our bowlers bowled very consistently and put constant pressure on the batsmen.”
The Blues made 6-121 in 35 overs to end the day, with Alex Saunders making 33 not out and Freeman collecting three wickets for Mowbray to finish with six for the match.
“They batted really well and James Storay played a fantastic innings … our bowlers just weren’t consistent enough and didn’t build enough pressure to create wickets,” Garwood said.
“The pitch was a really good pitch to bat on but our bowlers didn’t execute the plans that we had.
“I think for three or four of them it’s their first or second two-day game so it’s a big learning curve.”
RELATED: Launceston v Westbury photo gallery
A Tom Bennett spectacular gave LAUNCESTON a miraculous win over Greater Northern Cup finalist Westbury.
Chasing 244 after Fletcher Bennett made it to a career-high 46 not out, the Shamrocks made it to 2-202 at the tea break before the unthinkable happened.
Better known as a batsman, the elder Bennett took his second A-grade five-for with cunning medium-pacers to spark a collapse of 8-25 and derail a certain victory for the home side.
Lachie Newland also collected four scalps in a comeback that had Lions skipper Cam Lynch over the moon.
“[Tom] doesn’t bowl a whole heap for us - I don’t reckon he’s bowled more than 20 overs for us this year but he bowled about 15 overs today and took five for not many,” Lynch said.
“Whenever you need a partnership broken you can always give it to Tom, and he’s just got a knack of getting a wicket or two here and there and he got five today.”
The Lions have now won three of their past four two-day matches at Ingamells Oval.
“We’re on a bit of a roll out there,” Lynch said.
“They’re a very handy team, they’re on top of the ladder so it’s always nice to beat them.”