Valleys, Wests catch points
GYMPIE A Grade cricket sides Valleys and Wests have seized first premiership points following victories at the weekend.
Round one came to a close on Saturday afternoon at Albert Park, and defending dual premiers Valleys secured a win over Harlequins in clinical fashion, continuing their sizzling form from the previous week to win by 82 runs.
The win has ensured a positive start to the side's campaign of back-to-back titles.
They laid the groundwork for the victory last weekend, smashing the ball confidently around the oval to hit 359 before declaring.
Sending a demoralised Harlequins in to bat, Valleys were keen to continue the systematic destruction of their rivals when Harlequins sat on 42 without the loss of a wicket at the close of play.
Resuming at the weekend, Harlequins' opening batsman Shaun Wilson gave the embattled side a spark of hope when he went on a rampage to find himself on 119 before a Bill Tillott delivery proved his undoing.
Dan Shepperson joined the run feast with a solid 64 of his own before the Valleys' bowling attack built up enough steam to displace him from the wicket.
From there, the side struggled to find the big scores, labouring under the workload needed to match Valley's first innings haul.
Eventually, Valleys prevailed as the tail-end was mercilessly cleaned up by an at times flawless bowling attack.
Best bowling figures for Valleys included Tillott (3 for 48) and Brad Briggs (2 for 43).
In the other game, early premiership points were happily received by Wests as they accounted for Colts with little trouble.
Wests set the challenge the week before with a robust 287 before losing all of their wickets.
Colts started their run chase tentatively when opening batsmen Langley Johnston and Ian O'Brien were removed for 38 between them.
Johnston felt the sting of a duck.
Relatively small scores followed with the exception of A Smerdon, who attacked his time on the wicket to lift 48 before being bowled by Leon Smith.
Dismissed for 166, Wests' bowler Smith did most of the damage with an impressive four wickets.
Plenty of light remained in the day, allowing Wests the opportunity to return for a second innings to add insult to injury.
This was achieved as they collected an additional 70 runs, boosted by Tim McIntosh who fell shy of a half-century on 46.
Ultimately, Wests won the game by a commanding 191 runs and never once looked threatened.
Gympie Cricket Association president Bob Blackburn said the first round of the new season was an exciting start.
“Langley's (Johnston) century was a great performance by one of the younger blokes coming up through the ranks,” he said.
Round 2 games commence this weekend.