It is always pleasing  to see products of the  Rovers-United  juniors    graduate to senior  ranks and perform with aplomb.

Except  when  it’s  against Rovers- United !

Young  speedster  Alex Marklew again underlined his  potential with a polished  new-ball  display for Bruck , as they skittled the Hawks  for just 69 at the Findlay Oval  yesterday.  Watching on was his grandfather, greatest supporter and  Rovers-United  life-member, Roley, who has now become accustomed to  Alex playing in opposition colours.

Tall, slim and with  genuine pace, Alex  executes  the control  of  someone with  years  more experience and is an ideal foil for  ‘Pocket Rocket’, Jon Hyde,  who shares the new ball.

The pair  combined to  slice  open the Hawk upper-order, in a passage  of play which determined the fate of the game.

Josh  Schonafinger  and  Callum Nankervis opened promisingly enough and looked to be well in control of the situation. At 0/18, the signs were  good.  Nankervis  was beginning to blossom and  Josh, as he had been doing  effectively of late, was solid at the other end.

A  Nankervis  pull shot  headed towards the boundary and, turning for the third run, Schonafinger was sent back by his team-mate. Too late.  He  slipped and was left stranded by a magnificent throw from……. Alex  Marklew.

In a trice the Hawks   slumped to 5/21, with Hyde and Marklew  snaring two wickets apiece. Ryan Nankervis  was the fifth to fall when  he played  a nice shot with some power. It seemed to be past the square-leg  fieldsman, who dove sideways to pluck it in spectacular fashion.  The fielder was….Marklew !

From then it was all hard going. The Bruck  bowling was tight and disciplined and the  fielding first-rate. They are a good side, as their record in recent seasons indicates.

But  the  confidence that had been  mounting  after  impressive performances in the last three games, seemed  to  dissipate.  Jacob Schonafinger  and  Simon Godfrey, two  of the  ‘old  reliables’ with the bat this season, were dismissed cheaply  and it was left to  Adrian Squires   to  try to resuscitate the  flagging fortunes.

He was left undefeated on 15, equal top-score with Callum Nankervis,  as the Hawks  crawled to  a total  of 69. The  Bruck  bowlers  enjoyed  flattering   figures.  Marklew’s  13 overs  included 6 maidens and yielded 2/16. Offie Jeremy Wilson  sent down 8 overs, 6 maidens and took 1/4.

But  the  honours were  taken by diminutive Jon Hyde – 13 overs  of accuratemedium-pace for 3/ 14. The  consistency  of  the Bruck veteran is staggering and he – as much as anyone- has been  responsible for  his team’s  dominance of the competition in recent years. His ability to produce when it matters is an indication of a top-shelf  performer.

Vance Curran and Jordan Blades began  the  run-chase for  Bruck  after tea.   Left-hander Blades is always aggressive  and  lofted some shots over the bowlers head early.  But Curran was in real  bother.  Someone  mentioned earlier  in the day that he  looked to be having trouble seeing  the ball,  as an explanation for  his ordinary form this year.

He played  and  missed  at  a dozen or more deliveries from Callum Nankervis, but, to his credit, hung around. The departure of Blades for 27 and Darren Peterson for 3   left Bruck still needing  20-odd to hit the front.  But suddenly big Vance exploded into action and he and Jon Hyde sent the score racing along.

At stumps Bruck were 2/98, with Curran , back in touch, undefeated on 37 and Hyde  25.

It was a black day for the Hawks, but  hopefully, they will dust themselves  off  and  attempt to revive their fortunes next week.


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