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.