Bush Blues fall 17 short
By STEVE SPINKS
INSPIRED by opening bowlers Brad Hauenstein and Charlie Owen, Victoria Country halted a tremendous fightback from NSW Country to claim first innings points yesterday in the opening round of the Australian Country Cricket Championship.
Victoria made 248 in their first innings at Oakes Oval, Lismore, and had the Bush Blues in dire trouble at 4-37 at stumps on Tuesday.
However, Illawarra batsman Mitch Walters (83) and Newcastle all-rounder Brad Bannister (54) led a resurgence that ended only 17 runs short of the target.
Geelong team-mates Hauenstein (5-58) and Owen (3-54) did the damage, with Hauenstein destroying the NSW top order and Owen finishing off the tail to end the Bush Blues' hopes.
Hauenstein's five wickets added nicely to the 26 he made with the bat on Tuesday.
Another to shine was captain Brad Glenn.
After missing out with the bat, the experienced Mornington Peninsula right-hander took three smart catches in the slips, two of which were screamers.
It shouldn't come as a surprise.
Glenn is a former wicketkeeper and was Darren Berry's back-up in the Victorian squad for a number of years.
However, the 36-year-old has had to give the gloves away because of persistent knee problems.
"It was a good game of cricket," Glenn said.
"Notty (Ben Nott) and Mitch (Walters) played really well.
"We almost let them get away with it, but it was because they batted well rather than us letting them off the hook."
Glenn played 16 seasons of Melbourne grade cricket, firstly with the Melbourne club and then with Frankston.
"Brad Hauenstein was fantastic," Glenn said. "He, Hassett and Hopper were our three standouts."