Harwood batsman Nathan Ensbey swings his bat in disgust after being dismissed during the showdown with South at Harwood Oval on Saturday.
Harwood batsman Nathan Ensbey swings his bat in disgust after being dismissed during the showdown with South at Harwood Oval on Saturday. Debrah Novak

Harwood survives spin spell

SOUTH Services spin wizard Fred Holloway produced a devastating spell of bowling against Harwood but it wasn't enough for his side to claim victory.

Holloway claimed season-best figures of 7-57 on Saturday but Harwood Hilton defied his efforts to return to the winners list thanks to a resounding 86-run triumph.

Batting first, Harwood posted 202 thanks in part to a brilliant 64 from young opener Ben McMahon.

In reply, South were all out for 116 with Chris Cleaver top-scoring with a resilient 30.

"Ben's been batting well all season and has been consistently getting scores in the thirties," Harwood skipper Tim McMahon said.

"Luke Harradine usually opens for us but he's away overseas for the season and Ben has stepped up into the role.

"Ben and Simmo (Geoff Simmons) got us off to another flyer and at one stage were going about 10 an over."

McMahon was full of praise for local curator Blair Littlechild who worked overtime preparing the pitch and outfield.

"Blair did a fantastic job preparing the wicket. You couldn't walk on the field last Saturday," he said.

"The outfield was good and there was a bit off cut in the wicket for the bowlers early on."

Although South failed to grab the competition points, Holloway continues to impress, bagging his second five-wicket haul for the season.

In just nine matches the veteran leggie has snared 33 wickets at a miserly average of just 8.21.

"Fred bowled a good line and length and turned the ball as well," McMahon said.

"He had a few guys caught on the boundary but also got a few snicks through the slips area, he always bowls well."

Apart from Holloway's heroics with the ball, McMahon said he was impressed with all-rounder Luke Many who has been missing in action for several weeks.

Many proved his all-round capabilities taking 5-19 with his medium pace seamers.

"Luke's a good cricketer and he moved the ball both ways off the deck," McMahon said.

"He's been away for the past nine weeks but he's now back for the rest of the season which will strengthen the side.

"I also thought Esso's (Nathan Essex) opening spell was as good as I've seen him bowl all year.

"He bowled with plenty of pace until he finished his spell because of the age restriction rule."

The result means Harwood has skipped further ahead on the Premier League ladder with the weekend's two other planned matches abandoned due to rain.

"I think the win puts us about 13 points clear of Tucabia with two games to go," McMahon said.

The competition frontrunner's next game is against Coutts Crossing Tavern at Ulmarra Showground.

The Daily Examiner Cricketer of the Year voting will continue with two Premier League matches remaining however the leader board will not be published.



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