With a low overnight of just two degrees in Ranelagh on Friday night, it was a dewy oval that met the North Huon Warriors A Grade T20 side that opened the 2019/20 Huon and Channel Cricket Association (HCCA) season last Saturday morning.
Captained and coached again this year by Josh Stevenson, the Warriors won the toss and sent Kettering out into the damp field to deal with the slippery ball in the first innings.
With a slow outfield, the score was never going to set any records and the Warriors had a nervous start with opener Sam Roberts being dismissed with a catch from Cam Wheatley off the bowling of Ben Cameron for just two runs.
Phil Woolley then came to the crease, a new face at the Warriors after many seasons as a standout in the Huonville Bulls’ batting lineup, and settled the Warriors down, putting on 18 runs before Cam Wheatley took his second catch for the day, this time off the bowling of Braedon Allen.
Adam Crowe was next up, and he top-scored for the Warriors with 21 at almost a run a ball, including a couple of boundaries, despite the slow conditions, before he was dismissed by a lovely ball from Josh McGuiness that found the wickets.
Shane Fletcher and Kyle Paul also scored in the high teens for the Warriors, and the side eventually set Kettering a target of 110.
Ben Cameron was the best of the bowlers for Kettering, grabbing three wickets for just 15 runs off four overs.
Veteran Kettering captain Nick Townsend opened the batting with the Cygnet Football Club’s favourite ruckman Reece Schuth, with Townsend holding down one end while Schuth put on a quick 23 including a couple of boundaries.
Townsend was eventually bowled by Shane Fletcher, with just seven runs off 23 balls to his name, while Bevan Roberts claimed the scalp of Schuth.
Wheatley and Connor Meades-Richards were unfortunate to come up against young Will Quarrier, who kept the scoring rate low and eventually claimed Wheatley for just seven, Meades-Richards for nine and Blair Dayton for 15.
The Warriors bowlers were commendably tight, with Stevenson even managing a maiden and conceding just 18 runs from his four overs.
Jacob Fordham and McGuinness saw out the innings for Kettering, but they fell well short with just 89 runs.
Will Quarrier was the best of the bowlers for the Warriors with three for 17 off his four overs.
With the ground drying out and the cobwebs from the off season clearing, the afternoon game promised to be a bit quicker, as the Warriors took on the Southern Tigers at Ranelagh Oval.
The Warriors lineup saw a couple of changes for the afternoon game, with wicket keeper Brad Pitt replacing Shane Fletcher and Bevan Roberts retiring after suffering an injury in the field during the morning.
Opening batsman Sam Roberts faced a bit of confusion with a second Sam Roberts coming into the side to replace his brother Bevan, this Sam a newcomer to the Warriors, this season playing for Glenorchy in the Women’s Premier League and for North Huon in B Grade.
Stevenson again won the toss and elected to bat, looking to set a healthy target in the improving conditions.
Roberts got a better start in Round 2, eventually sent back to the sheds for 18, caught Josh Mazur off a ball from Jack Woolley.
Kyle Paul marched out and got straight down to business, really setting the Warriors up for a strong total, with 49 runs off 44 balls, including six boundaries.
George Duggan eventually put an end to his spree, taking a strong catch off a ball from Mitch Beechey.
Adam Crowe got into the high teens again, showing some nice consistency to start the season, but the Warriors trailed off from there, petering out with a total of 117.
Mazur and Woolley took two wickets each for the Tigers.
After a savage defeat in the morning’s game at the hands of Slab Road, the Southern Tigers were looking to improve in Round 2 but were unable to get the start they were looking for.
Openers, Beecher and Codie Rawnsley, were quickly dismissed by Warriors opening bowler Jacob Stanway for seven and a duck respectively.
Nathan McQueen put in a better performance, getting to 17 before Will Quarrier struck again, taking his fourth wicket for the day.
The Tigers just couldn’t get going, with Murray Bastick and George Duggan the only other batsmen able to get into double figures, eventually finishing on 70 runs, handing the Warriors their second victory for the day.
Quarrier is looming as a dangerous bowler for the Warriors, picking up another wicket for the afternoon and a total of five for the day, and Stanway also finished with two for the game off just three overs.
On Saturday North Huon A Grade will take on Margate at home and B Grade will take on Judbury at Judbury Park from 10.30am, and C Grade will take on the Southern Tigers at Franklin Oval from 10.30am on Sunday.