Gloucester kicks off its bid in the Manning Valley cricket competition

On the board: Ben Reynolds was the pick of the bowlers for Gloucester in their four wicket win over Great Lakes. Photo: Julie Clarke
On the board: Ben Reynolds was the pick of the bowlers for Gloucester in their four wicket win over Great Lakes. Photo: Julie Clarke

If Gloucester's first hit-out in the Manning second grade cricket competition was anything to go by, we're in store for an exhilarating season.

A seventh wicket partnership between captain Harrison Clarke and Ben Phillpot ensured the Bushmen chased down Great Lakes' total of 6/256 to claim their first victory of the season.

They did it with seven balls to spare.

"What a nail-biter," relieved Bushmen president Matthew Higgins said. "We can only get better so to jag a win in our first game was really good."

Great Lakes won the toss and elected to bat on a favourable wicket. For the first 10 overs, Gloucester's tight bowling, led by Ben Reynolds, kept Great Lakes on their toes.

A change of bowlers and poor fielding however opened the game up as Great Lakes began to chalk up the runs. Gloucester's reply couldn't have started any poorer, with their first wicket lost on the first ball. The next partnership of 72 runs salvaged the early blemish. A loss of four wickets for next to no runs put the side in dire straits.

That's when Harrison and Ben took control. They chased down the rest of the runs, with Harrison finishing 130 not out and Ben 52 not out.

Higgins was pleased the side got off to a winning start but there's still more work to be done.

"Everyone played well but we've got a bit of work to do in the field," he said.

The side will be on the road for the first time this year as they take on Old Bar at Chris Dempsey Oval.

Under 16s underway

Wingham/Gloucester hosted Great Lakes at home for the first round of the under 16s junior Manning competition. Great Lakes won the toss and elected to bat. RJ struck early with a wicket in the third over leaving Great Lakes 1/6. Travis, Harrison, Lucas P and Jack B bowled well. The next wicket came at the hands of wicket keeper Jack S who stumped another Great Lakes player during Julius's second over leaving them at 2/106. Dylan and Paula also bowled well having the lowest runs scored against them. Great Lakes finished their innings at 2/168 with four retirements after each faced 25 balls.

Paula and RJ opened the batting with Paula falling for an unlucky duck leaving Wingham/Gloucester at 1/2 at the end of the first over. Harrison replaced her at the crease and RJ soon retired having faced his 25 balls and scoring eight runs. Travis and Harrison formed a strong partnership until Harrison was bowled for 13 runs leaving Wingham/Gloucester at 2/38. Jack S smashed a fantastic four before he was caught at square leg. Travis soon followed, after being stumped on his retirement ball leaving the side at 4/51. Jack B and Sean continued with Jack playing some amazing shots. Lucas P came to the strike next alongside Julius however Lucas was unfortunately run out due to a miscommunication.

At the end of the 20th over Julius and Dylan remained not out with Wingham/Gloucester at 7/81.