Williamstown sets pace early with solid performances

Promising teenager Fraser Hay bends his back for Williamstown. Picture Damjan Janevski

Williamstown is hitting all the right notes early in the Victorian Sub-District Cricket Association season.

The Seagulls dug deep to claim a 33-run win over Kew at the Williamstown Cricket Ground on Saturday to improve to 2-0.

“It’s great that we’ve got blokes playing well at the start of the year,” Seagulls all-rounder Craig Sheedy said.

“You can’t afford to wait four or five games to put your foot on the accelerator, you’ve got to go straight up.

“Every win early counts.”

Williamstown had a chunky 286 to defend, but it was never a comfortable task.

Kew was always slightly behind the eight ball, but still well placed to launch late on a flat wicket, if only they wanted to roll the dice.

“They didn’t really have a go, which is a bit of a surprise,” Sheedy said. Take nothing away from Williamstown’s bowling performance though.

The Seagulls were consistent throughout the day to successfully defend the total.

New ball operator Bryce Preston led the charge for the Gulls. Preston probably had the least impressive figures of all Seagulls on paper – 1-56 off 20 overs – but his actual impact did not show up on the scorecard.

“Bryce was unbelievable,” Sheedy said.

“He was so unlucky, I’ve never seen so many balls get french cut, he should’ve got five or six wickets in the end.

“On a really flat wicket, he was still able to get them on the back foot, get the ball up around their chest and they were always in a bit of doubt when he was bowling.

“He built pressure and kept going all day.”

Sheedy bowled under duress to produce 2-27 off 15. He was feeling the effect of a virus after the game.

Mitchell Streiff was the most damaging with 3-45 off 12, while Patrick O’Malley returned 2-61 off 18. The Seagull with the biggest say over the result did not roll the arm over once.

Wicketkeeper Brenton Hodges finished with four dismissals, including two catches and two stumpings.

It was the kind of performance that has Sheedy pondering how good Hodges would be at the next level up.

“He’d be a brilliant cricketer in Premier first XI,” Sheedy said. “He opened the batting and got 84 and batted beautifully.

“His keeping today, two stumpings off some good bowling and two catches, he’s like an extra player having a keeper of his ability.”

Williamstown will click into Twenty20 mode for its round three meeting with Werribee away at Chirnside Park on Saturday.

The Seagulls go into the western derby undefeated, while the Tigers are winless.

“You’ve got to go in there confident with the way we’re playing at the moment,” Sheedy said.

Elsewhere, Altona failed in its chase for Ivanhoe’s 172, bowled out for just 124 at Ivanhoe Park. Yarraville was thrashed by Brunswick to the tune of 175 runs at Gillon Oval.