Gladstone easily beat Highlands in decider

By CRAIG ROSScraigr@gladstoneobserver.com.au

GLADSTONE'S open cricket side is the new Central Queensland champion after defeating Central Highlands in a one-sided decider at Clinton Oval No.1 yesterday.

Surprise victors over Rockhampton on a wet Sun Valley Oval wicket on Saturday, Central Highlands could not repeat their giant-killing perfor-mance yesterday.

Batting first, they meekly surrendered for 53 with paceman Ron Craig all but unplayable on his way to the remarkable figures of 4-9 off 10 overs including five maidens.

He bowled unchanged as did his new-ball partner Scott Tippet who captured 1-19.

The pair combined to remove the Highlands' key batsmen Kim Williams (nought), Rhys Williams, who top-scored with nine, and Shaun Richardson (four), ensuring Gladstone would not chase a huge total.

Fellow paceman Mick Kiriazis tore through the middle or-der to 4-13 off 6.3 overs.

Gladstone reached 5-58 in reply, with opener Jason Seng top-scoring with 23 and Central Highlands' Mick Knijff claiming 2-20.

It was the second successive day Gladstone dismissed their opponents cheaply. On Saturday, they removed Callide/Dawson for a paltry 66 in reply to their own 6-289 off 50 overs.

Gladstone skipper Troy Webster led the run feast by belting 111 off 106 deliveries, including five sixes and nine boundaries, and sharing a 142-run partnership with Chris Stitt (67 off 95).

Callide/Dawson were never in the hunt with Kiriazis (3-8), Craig (2-31) and Tippet (2-17) doing damage with the ball. Rockhampton yesterday won the play-off for third spot, defeating Callide/Dawson by six wickets.

A SUPERB effort in the field en- sured Gladstone's under-21 cricket side made it two from two titles for the city at the Cen- tral Queensland Championships at the Palm Drive complex yes- terday.

Defending a total of 171 against a formidable Rockhamp- ton lineup, Gladstone's bowlers and fieldsmen combined well to bundle their opponents out for just 134 in yesterday's decider.

Kris Hadley (3-22) and Antho- ny Williams (3-20) were the chief destroyers for Gladstone while Brendon Manttan chipped in with 2-12 with the new ball.



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