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Bulldogs overcome defiant Panthers

The Bankstown Sports Bulldogs thwarted a valiant lower order fightback by Penrith last Saturday at Howell Oval.

The Bulldogs were always facing a tough task on Day Two following the loss of Sydney Thunder paceman Nathan McAndrew due to illness and star spinner Ben Taylor, ruled out under the concussion rule after being struck during a Futures League match during the week. On the other hand, the Panthers were bolstered by the return of star representatives Pat Cummins and Ryan Gibson after the NSW Blues controversially failed to make the finals of the National Limited Overs competition.

The Panthers resumed at 6-72 chasing the seemingly unattainable Bulldogs total of 279. The game appeared set up for the belligerent Bulldogs but as so often happens in cricket, fortunes fluctuated dramatically. It was great credit to the Penrith tail that their stubborn resistance kept them on the prowl.

Gradually the Panthers edged closer to the target despite some accurate and incisive bowling from the Bulldog attack. Promising 18-year-old Wallace Marshall struck for Bankstown with a superb delivery which trapped the defiant Hodges plumb in front of the stumps. The home side still had a massive challenge in front of them at 7-118 but Australian paceman Pat Cummins, who is a very useful batsman, continued the Panthers resistance. It took an excellent delivery from promising 19-year-old Ben Le Bas to get rid of the speedster when he was adjudged LBW for 16.

At 8-145 the pendulum had swung back to the Doggies but the Panthers still had some petrol left in the tank. A magnificent century partnership ensued, but Le Bas again came to the rescue dismissing the defiant Smith with the score at 9/245. The Panthers hung on grimly but all-rounder Mitch Brown delivered the killer blow. He trapped Collins in front with a ripper delivery and the valiant Penrith tail had eventually succumbed for 254.

Mitch Brown showed his versatility with 2-48. The Bankstown attack is inexperienced but Le Bas bowled with the aplomb of a veteran. He rolled down 22 very accurate overs and kept the pressure on to capture 2-47. Marshall was also most impressive with his crucial wicket. Special mention must be made of Penrith's Ryan Gibson who defied the Doggies for 215 minutes and was left unconquered with 105 not out.

Next Saturday the Dogs play Gordon at Chatswood Oval in a two-day fixture commencing at 10.30. The side will also play a T20 Double-Header on Sunday at Bankstown Memorial Oval, the first game at 10.00 against Wests and the second at 2.00pm against Penrith.

Second grade

The Seconds capitulated meekly against Penrith at Bankstown last Saturday. The Bulldogs lost outright scoring totals of just 92 and 165 in reply to the visitors 9-282. Bankstown's Jacob Malcolm led the Bulldog attack with 4-40 in his inspired spell. He received great support from talented off spinner Matt Smith with 3-70. The best that can be said about the Bulldogs is that they improved from 92 in the first innings to 165 in the second innings. Paceman Luke Docherty was the pick of the batsman with a defiant 39 not out as wickets tumbled all around him. Chris Ridley fought hard for 37 whilst Matt Smith provided resistance with his 27. Skipper Joel Brockley is working hard to get his side back on track and his strong leadership will undoubtedly pay dividends as the season progresses.

Third grade

Skipper Iain Ridley steered the Bulldogs to victory with a career best 169 against the Panthers. He hammered 14 boundaries and 3 scintillating sixes in an innings which was all class. It enabled Bankstown to reach 260 which proved too many for Penrith with 217. Alex Schipp moved the ball around disconcertingly to claim 2-60 whilst Dayne Heward was on target all day with some lively bowling and was rewarded with 2-32. Mohammad Hossain tied the Panthers down with some very accurate bowling and claimed 2-49. He also claimed a vital run out which got the Bulldogs off to a flier.

Fourth grade

After the batsmen cobbled together a useful 219, the Bulldog bowlers forced the Panthers to capitulate for a paltry 91. Classy Koby Layton was the destroyer for the Bulldogs with 4-12 in an amazing spell. The talented youngster bowled 6 maidens in his 11.2 overs and the Panthers had great difficulty putting bat on ball. David Lozinski chimed in with 2-21 from 8 overs and kept the pressure on the batsmen. Damien Loy slipped in with 2-4 to complete the rout.

Fifth grade

Bankstown batted first at Rance Oval and cobbled together a useful 183. Isaac Schipp led the run charge with a delightful 61. He found the gaps repeatedly and hit nine sparkling boundaries in his important knock. Blake Pearson ripped through the top order to get the Bulldogs barking and finished with 3-55. Schipp clinched man of the match honours with 3-29. He claimed the last three wickets when things were getting tight and helped roll the Panthers for 175.

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