Barningham the star in push for minor premiership

Mitchell WoodcockSouth Western Times

Colts have one hand on the minor premiership after a thrilling one-wicket victory over Eaton on Saturday at the Eaton Sports Ground.

The top-of-the-table clash lived up to the hype, with momentum swinging between both teams all day, but it was Colts spinner Joe Barningham who proved the difference, leading his side home with both the bat and the ball.

Colts won the toss and sent Eaton into bat, a move which looked good when they had powerful opener James Hillery out for just four runs.

A 53-run stand between Matt Foreman (33) and Matt Davies (55) steadied Eaton’s innings, with the latter playing a patient knock as his side reached 3/96 and looked in a good position to post a strong total.

But Barningham tore through Eaton’s middle order, taking four wickets including the scalps of captain Clint Hewson (six), Clayton Caltsounis (0) and Leigh O’Mara (18) as Eaton lost four wickets for just 15 runs.

Eaton’s tail wagged and set Colts a reasonable total of 159 for victory when they were bowled out in the last over.

Hewson sprung a surprise on Colts’ top order, opening the bowling with part-time offspinner Foreman.

The move proved a masterstroke, with keeper Davies stumping the in-form James Anderson for just eight runs.

Steve Baron then claimed the scalp of Murray Goodwin (10) before Caltsounis had Murray’s son Jayden (16) trapped in front, leaving Colts at 3/56.

Stephen Green (one) was then dismissed cheaply, and when Nick Barr (34) was run out by O’Mara with the help of Davies, Colts’ chase looked in all sorts of trouble.

But once again Barningham came to the rescue, smacking an unbeaten 37 runs off 49 deliveries to lead Colts past the total with just the one wicket in hand.

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