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Ghosts haunt Bulldogs

The Bankstown Sports Club First Grade Bulldogs fought back valiantly against the Campbelltown Ghosts last Saturday at Raby. It was not a good start for Bankstown as the top order collapsed disastrously. At 6-92 Bankstown looked in serious strife but they fought back doggedly to compile 233. Earlier Sydney Thunder paceman and Bulldogs all-rounder Nathan McAndrew batted with great spirit against the Ghosts to score a fighting 37. He was promoted to open the batting and he looked quite at home in this unfamiliar role. McAndrew is a very talented cricketer and this was evident last Saturday with four boundaries and a stunning six.

Chris Ridley is never far from the action and once again started confidently. The compact stroke maker hit 5 boundaries in his handy knock of 36. Ethan Leten is normally a dashing batsman but he played a much more subdued role in his attempt to get the Bulldogs barking. It was great to see him knuckle down to the task with such determination and score a handy and defiant 31 off 123 deliveries.

However, the day belonged to outstanding all-rounder Kyle Brockley who loves a challenge and responded brilliantly. Batting at number 8 in the order his 73 from 143 balls comprised seven sparkling boundaries and two stunning sixes. He believed attack was his best form of defence and the Ghosts became dispirited by his savage stroke play. He guided the Dogs to a very competitive 233 which has given the Bankstown bowlers a chance for victory. Ben Taylor chimed in with a defiant 26 and his formidable partnership with Brockley produced 65 valuable runs. It was great to see the fighting spirit of the lower order but the bowlers will need to be at their best when play resumes next Saturday.

Second grade The Bulldogs are in a commanding position against Campbelltown at Memorial on Saturday. The Ghosts never came to terms with the feisty Bankstown attack and could cobble together just 194. Tushaar Garg was at his fiery best and unsettled the visitors with some unnerving bouncers. Garg had the Ghosts backpedalling in an aggressive 12 over spell and thoroughly deserved his 4-38. Ben Le Bas was perfect in his support and claimed 3-44 from 17 overs with his crafty flight and guile. He also showed what a great pair of hands he has with three smart catches. Liam Marshall cleaned up Charlie Dummer with a wonderful swinging yorker which crashed into the stumps. Le Bas produced a fine delivery to capture the wicket of Ashley Paddison who top scored with 75. Marshall took 2-43 in his lively spell. In reply Bankstown has cruised to 3-123 with Matt Simpson in superb touch scoring a majestic 52 not out. He plundered 8 sizzling boundaries and a glorious six in his excellent knock. Debutant Peter Dignam is certainly making the most of his opportunity and his superb 40 not out augurs well for the future. The talented opener is the son of Steve Dignam who amassed over 5000 runs for the Doggies. Le Bas added 19 to complete a very good day.