By Ewen McRae
Williamstown again showed why it is one of the favourites in sub district cricket this year, blowing away Brighton to keep its winning start to the summer rolling.
After taking on western rivals in the opening two games of the first XI west/south division, Williamstown travelled to the other side of the bay for this week’s clash and put in another powerhouse batting performance to set up a percentage-boosting win.
After Brighton won the toss and sent the visitors in to bat, Patrick O’Malley and James Cook continued their strong individual form to post a century opening stand and lay the platform for a big Seagulls total.
While O’Malley was more watchful, Cook was damaging against anything loose as he powered to 76 off just 72 balls before his dismissal ended the partnership at 125.
The pain didn’t end there for the home side though, with O’Malley (78), skipper Brent McMinn (36) and Matthew Dervan (47 off 32 balls) all forming good partnerships and pushing the visitors up to 6-263.
When its chance came with the ball, Williamstown was equally damaging, with an early run-out followed soon after by a Daniel Popa wicket to have the hosts reeling.
Wickets fell steadily throughout the afternoon, with Brighton all out for 127.
Nathan Bratby, Matthew Twentyman and Fraser Hay grabbed two wickets each in the win, which keeps Williamstown on top.
Elsewhere, Yarraville earned its second win in a row claiming a thriller over local rivals Altona.
Altona batted first on its home deck, and had Adam Yates (54) and Greg Sheehan (84 not out) to thank for getting it to 5-212. The pair shared a vital 97-run partnership after two early wickets, laying the platform for some late order hitting from Shannon Clarke (19 off nine balls).
Yarraville’s reply got off to a shaky start when Matthew Harrison was out for a duck, but it found stability in the form of 50s to Jack Potticary and Josh Turner.
Potticary was particularly good early as he raced to 56 off just 51 balls before being dismissed, leaving Turner (96 not out) to anchor the rest of the innings with Lucas Nikoloski (19) and Mohan D’Souza (24 not out).
It came down to the final over, but Yarraville held its nerve to get over the line, finishing 4-213, with Clarke (2-34) doing the job with the ball after making runs earlier.
The win lifted Yarraville to eighth on the table, while Altona is still searching for that breakthrough win and remains in last place.
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