Pirates chasing Panthers

LOOKING FOR RUNS: Kalon Wilkie will be a key player for Port Fairy with the bat in hand this Saturday against West Warrnambool. Picture: Anthony Brady

A STRONG batting performance this Saturday could give Port Fairy an almost unassailable lead at the top of the Warrnambool and District Cricket Association Hopkins conference ladder.

The Pirates will be at the batting crease when play resumes in its two-day game against West Warrnambool at Avery’s Paddock.

The Pirates are on top of the ladder, six points clear of the Panthers with just three rounds remaining in the season after the completion of the current round 11 encounter.

With six points up for grabs for a first innings win, Port Fairy could leave the Panthers and the rest of the competition in its wake if it can secure victory.

It will be a tough task with West Warrnambool batting first and making 230 last Saturday.

The stars with the ball for the Pirates came at both ends of the spectrum with paceman Sam McCartney (3-40) and spinner Mick McCall (3-51) the leading wicket-takers.

Port Fairy co-coach Kalon Wilkie praised the efforts of McCall.

“Mick has been really good for us this year,” Wilkie said.

“He has been handy, particularly on those low, slow wickets in Warrnambool.”

With the bowlers doing a good job against the Panthers, it will now be up to the Pirates batsmen to finish the job off.

Wilkie believes his team has enough quality in its XI to get the runs needed.

“This is the best wicket in the competition,we made 300 on it before Christmas so if we bat well we are confident of getting the runs,” Wilke said.

“Our batting depth is really good, Sam McCartney comes in at number 11 and Travis Parsons, who made 68 last time he batted, at number 10 so we bat right down.

“We’re not getting carried away or looking too far ahead, we are just aiming tokeep ticking off the boxes as we go along.”

In division two, Port Fairy is in with a chance heading into day two of its game against West Warrnambool.

On day one at Davidson Oval, the Panthers made 197 with Ben Heard and Shaun Ploenges taking two wickets each.

It was a thrilling win for the Pirates against Wesley-CBC in division three. Port Fairy batted first and made 5-116 with Danny Smith top scoring with 39 not out.

Sean Peterson produced the goods with the ball, snaring 4-25 as Wesley-CBC was bowled out for 112.

The under 15s has also started back for 2016 with the Pirates defeating Koroit in a one-day game at J.J. Colledge Oval last Friday night.

Koroitmade 8-71 with Isaac Sinnott having an evening out with figures of 5-9 off his three overs.

He then followed up with the bat, making 31 before retiring. Jack Block and Hamish Gleeson also recorded that score as the Pirates ended the game on 4-143.

This week Port Fairy will play Brierly-Christ Church.

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