The Rockingham-Mandurah Mariners started their 2016/17 campaign in the WA Cricket Association first grade with a double-dose of defeat, going down to Wanneroo Districts and Claremont-Nedlands over the weekend.
It was not the ideal start to the defence of their 2015/16 premiership, with the club now 0-2-1 after a washout first round.
Despite a couple of big individual knocks from top-order batsmen over the weekend, the Mariners’ tail-order struggled to find runs while the bowlers’ figures were underwhelming.
Rockingham-Mandurah won the toss and elected to field first against Wanneroo on Saturday.
The Mariners struggled to knock down consistent wickets in the game, with each Wanneroo batsman posting double figures (excluding Jordon King who finished unbeaten on zero).
Matthew Spoors and Mitch McGee posted an opening stand of 61 runs before Mariners bowler Kieran Bull broke the partnership with the caught and bowled wicket of McGee.
Wanneroo went on to post a score of 6/204 off 40 overs. Craig Simmons led the wicket-takers for Rockingham-Mandurah with the figures of 2/45.
A 71-run partnership between Mitch Green and Dane Ugle saw the Mariners back on track after opener Tyler Robertson was dismissed for a duck, but it wasn’t enough to lift the side to victory as they were dismissed for 181 runs in the 39th over.
Green finished with 73 to lead all run-scorers for the day.
The Mariners took a different approach against Claremont-Nedlands, again winning the toss but this time electing to bat first.
Their display scoring runs was mostly impressive, but a few chinks in the armour were exposed when the tail order was eventually sent in.
Green (30 runs) and Robertson (32) opened the game with a 51-run partnership which was broken when Green was clean bowled by Tim David.
Ugle failed to breach double figures finishing with eight runs coming at third, but Simmons (62) and Aaron Burrage (27) were on hand to mend the damage.
The pair carved out a 69-run stand with Simmons belting half-a-dozen sixes over the ropes.
Unfortunately the tail-order struggled to find any momentum as the team finished their innings with a score of 8/203.
The same struggles cannot be said for Claremont-Nedlands’ tail, which made up for some sketchy top-order performances with a blistering display.
Chris Brabazon (62) and Haydan Morton (57) both notched half-centuries to lift their side to a win in the 48th over.
Simmons again had Rockingham-Mandurah’s best figures with 2/28.