Sport

GVBBL | Panthers crush Crushers

By Alex Mitchell

THE GAME

Jarvis Delahey Crushers 6-131 (Richard Oliver 80 not out, Andrew Riordan 14, Adam De Cicco 1-6, Michael Eckard 1-18) lt Cobram Panel Works Panthers 5-133 (James Seymour 91 not out, Isaac Willett 17, Peter Cassidy 2-20, Andrew Riordan 2-36).

STAR PLAYER

James Seymour (Panthers): Those in attendance at Barooga who did not know about Seymour before yesterday's game quickly learned what was what as he creamed 18 runs off the first over of the innings. Finished with 91 not out with 10 fours and four sixes.

Desperately unlucky not to reach triple-figures.

The Cobram Panel Works Panthers lived up to their reputation as the Goulburn Valley Bush Bash League's pre-tournament favourites billing, handing out a demoralising lesson to the Jarvis Delahey Crushers at Barooga Recreation Reserve.

While the game was highlighted by huge knocks by a pair of the tournament's marquee players — Crusher Richard Oliver and Panther James Seymour — the Panthers were truly dominant throughout, in control of virtually every moment of the game.

Things did not begin well for the Crushers after being sent in to bat; Dylan Grandell top-edged a slog off Adam De Cicco before a mix-up saw star opener and captain Josh McDonald run out for seven to leave them 2-21.

Ramadan Yze holed out to long-on for six and Ash Saudners was caught at cover for a duck, the two quality catches from James Seymour helping the Panthers get on top at 4-36.

But the Crushers had a lifeline in the form of Oliver, who controlled the tempo right throughout his innings making 80 runs off 57 balls.

He smacked 11 fours and a six via some serious stroke-play, picking the gaps at will and showing the technique that makes him such a dangerous player for home club Geelong City.

But the lack of help meant despite his heroics, the Crushers could only post a total of 6-131 from their 20 overs, perhaps 30 runs short of par on a flat and fast Barooga deck.

No Panther took more than one wicket, but Michael Eckard was the clear standout, his puzzling spin finding him an economical 1-18 from four overs.

Quickly though, it became clear just how short the Crushers had come up as Seymour and Wian Van Zyl went about blitzing the ball all around the park.

When Seymour took over, spectators were genuinely concerned for their safety — and for that of their vehicles — as he launched a series of long balls into the car park in a destructive display.

Van Zyl was bowled by Yze for 11 to make the score 1-61, but Seymour just kept on launching it, smacking four sixes and 10 fours in his huge 91 not out.

The Crushers did begin to pick up some late wickets and managed to drag the game into the 19th over, but the Panthers were always in charge and — fittingly — passed the target with yet another Seymour boundary.

Peter Cassidy was the pick of the bowlers taking 2-20, but the entire team will need to lift to match it with Hurley's Hotel Hounds.