Norths' stunning final session collapse
IT WAS the tea break which proved the Achilles heel of Northsiders when they hosted Laidley at Keith Sternberg Oval on Saturday.
Ending the second session at around 2/90, the hosts "were batting pretty well” and had Alex Welsh's side on the back foot with Troy Cooper leading the way on a tough batting wicket.
However upon commencement of the final session, both Cooper and Ryan Benson fell in quick succession.
With the two key dominoes down, the Tigers middle order soon followed and the hosts found themselves all out for just 120.
After losing Matt Fairhurst (3 off 12) early, Jordan Alegre (13 off 56) grit it out nicely alongside Cooper (63 off 133) to frustrate the Laidley attack. When Alegre went at 2/52, Benson (11 off 65) took over.
"They were going really well at tea. Alegre batted nicely, and Ryan didn't look in too much trouble before he got out. They were on track for a pretty good score, and we said (at tea) we would have to make an effort to dig in,” Welsh said.
"Ben Gibson came on after tea and bowled Cooper and then Ryan out as well, which really started (the collapse). I thought it changed the flow of the game.”
With Laidley's two biggest headaches back in the sheds, Welsh took full advantage to role through the Tigers' middle order.
He finished with eye-catching figures of 5/17 from 17 overs, including 11 maidens.
In reply, Laidley got to 2/56 at stumps with Chris Wilson (42) providing the bulk of the runs.
"It wasn't an easy wicket to bat on, they had a fair bit of rain so it was quite green,” Welsh said. "If the wicket is like it was (on Saturday) we'll have to concentrate and bat well. I'd like to think we have the depth to get the job done.”
Northsiders 120 (59.4) (T. Cooper 63, J. Hislop 17; A. Welsh 5/17, M. Topp 1/16) v Laidley 2/56 (18) (C. Wilson 42, C. Crack 2 not out) at Keith Sternberg Oval