Round seven of the Esperance Toyota Shield saw the reigning premiers Newtown reclaim top spot in a low scoring match over Esperance, while a resurgent Coastal Warriors hung on in a close match win over a determined Ports.
Playing at home, Newtown won the toss and chose to bat first, for which captain Daniel Styles might have regretted after the Esperance bowlers reeked havoc, bowling the usually potent Newtown batting line up all out for just 79 runs in just 21.2 overs. Styles (21) and opener Bangers Bancroft (14) the only batsman to reach double figures.
For Esperance Cody Green (4/28), Conor Scott (2/9) and Liam Baines (2/25) claimed bowing honours.
With such a small total to chase the Esperance batsman would have been well within their rights to think they might have this match in the bag.
Unfortunately for Esperance Jacob deBeer (4/10) and Styles (3/21) had other ideas, and along with Bancroft (2/22) rolled the Esperance line up all out for 74 in the 36th over.
Veteran Greg Hoffrichter (19) and classy allrounder Brendon White (14) being the only batsman to reach double figures.
Playing at Ports Oval, the visitors won the toss and chose to bat first with mixed results. Opener Jon-Paul Adams (34) bludgeoned early but it was the class of young allrounder Adam Edwards (95no) that steadied the rot.
Along with a 53-run partnership with Fraser O'Brien (15) and a couple off smaller run sets, they was able to post a defendable 178 all out, playing with only 10 players quite possibly costing Edwards a maiden century.
For Ports Shon Cruttenden (3/12), Andrew Macfarlane (2/17) and Leigh Westcott (2/30) claimed bowling honours.
Ports with a plan to perform better than their last couple of outings got off to a great start. Openers Chis Ross (28) and Darcy Cruttenden (27) posted a 72-run partnership for their first wicket. Unfortunately Ross fell shortly afterwards with the score at 79, but it was Patty Jannings (42) that held firm and almost pulled of a gritty win.
Having lost his wicket with the score at 169, Ports only needing 10 more runs to win were unable to see out the match as the Coastal’s bowlers held firm, Ports ended all out for 171.
For Coastal Warriors it was the class of captain Jeremy Curry (4/28) and youngster Troy Edwards (2/38) who claimed the bowling honours.
The only match off the Landmark Shield again saw Newtown totally decimate a undermanned Coastal Warriors at the Gibson Oval by 185 runs.
Winning the toss and choosing to bat first, Newtown got off to a flyer losing Mark Elliott (7) caught Cam Horley bowled Tim Starcevich (1/63) with score at 34, the run machine Paul Pelham (25) lbw Ducky Weckert (1/19) fell cheaply with the score at 40. Joseph Bezuidenhout (76) came to the crease and along with captain reliable Stephen Butler (117no) upped the ante with a 164-run partnership.
Coastals captain Ashley Weckert (1/25) claimed the wicket of Bezuidenhout with the score at 204, but Butler was not going to take the foot off the pedal and along with Mark Barker (11no) pushed a 58-run partnership to finish the innings at three for 262.
With a mountain to climb, Coastals just could not seem to get any settled partnership happening. Brendon Tyrrell (12) and Nigel Norwood (22) were the only batsman to reach double figures, Coastals eventually being all out for 77.
With all bowlers taking a wicket each, it was veteran spinner Paul Griffiths who managed to take the honours with figures of 4/15 from seven overs.