Confidence boost for Cavs
THE Casino Cavaliers travelled to Alstonville on the weekend and came away with a nail-biting victory over one of the competition heavyweights.
Alstonville finished third last season, with basically the same team, and they are tipped to go a long way this year.
With injuries to key bowlers Mark Mison and Al Nowlan, it was always going to be tough.
The Cavaliers lost the toss and were forced to bowl first on a wicket that was batsman-friendly.
The Cavaliers started strongly, restricting Alstonville to 4-68 off the first 20 overs.
A great spell from Rob Mison (2-27) allowed the Cavaliers to be on the front foot in the early stages and the competition's best bowler, Wade Sweeney (3-24), helped chime in with some late wickets towards the end of the innings.
Debutant, Brendan Dwyer, bowled with terrific control and measure and picked up a valuable Alstonville wicket at a crucial stage in the match.
A vastly improved Cavaliers bowling attack reduced Alstonville to 8-177 off their 40 overs.
The Cavaliers started strongly with the bat, with openers Michael Wood and Trent Bennett putting on 25 for the first wicket before Bennett was bowled.
Wood's experience at the top of the order was invaluable and he went on to score 26 before being dismissed.
After 20 overs the Cavaliers were 3-63 needing 155 off 120 balls and knowing it was going to be tight.
Sam Dietrich and Sam Irvine put on 40 runs after the drinks break in quick time before Dietrich was dismissed for a match-turning 18.
Irvine and young gun Nick Fuller put on a handy 55-run partnership and got the Cavaliers into a position of needing three runs off the last over.
Fuller was dismissed on the third ball, which brought Jacob Wood to the crease.
Wood and Irvine scrambled a single and with the very next ball, Irvine finished the job for the Cavaliers.
With five players under the age of 18 in the team, it was a huge win against one of the best teams in the competition.
Captain Irvine finished 82 not out and continued his great early season form.
This confidence-boosting win was terrific for the young and up-and-coming team and they will hope to continue their form when they take on Marist Brothers at the QEII Cauldron in another one-day match starting at 1pm on Saturday.