GRIFFIN Lea claimed career-best figures of 8-20 to spearhead Toronto Workers to a comprehensive 148-run win over Merewether in the Newcastle District Cricket Association match at Ron Hill Oval on Saturday.
Responding to Toronto’s first innings total of 8-199 (from 54 overs), Merewether was skittled for just 51, losing its last wicket in just the 31st over.
The match had been reduced to 54-overs per side because of wet weather on the first day’s play.
Lea claimed the first seven wickets to fall.
Captain Adrian Chad told the Newcastle Herald that early in the Merewether innings he was going to switch Lea around to bowl from the clubhouse end.
Instead, Lea got his first wicket bowling from the creek end, and then went on such a roll that the skipper didn’t dare switch him.
“He [Lea] bowled really well,” Chad told The Herald.
“It’s quite funny because the over before he got his first wicket I was actually going to take him off and look at swapping ends.
“Then he got a wicket so I thought he might as well keep going. Then he got two wickets the next over so I thought there’s no way I can change him now.”
Lea sealed the victory by trapping Lions top scorer Josh Geary (15) in front.
“They were all good fast bowling wickets,” Chad said.
“He has been threatening all year but without any luck. Yesterday [Saturday] it just went his way – nicks went to hand and every time a batsman missed he hit.”
Cricket Southern Lakes president Aaron Gray - who took a catch to dismiss Merewether opener Simon Moore (10) off Lea’s bowling on Saturday – said it was an extraordinary day for the young all-rounder.
“Griff’s haul of 8-20 is the equal second best by a bowler for our club in first grade,” Gray said.
Lea’s figures matched Ron Treloar’s 8-20.
Treloar also holds top spot on the list of first grade bowling figures for Toronto with 9-40.
Lea’s haul was also the highest individual innings haul in the Newcastle district first grade competition this season.
Merewether was asked to bat again, and finished at 2-88 when stumps were pulled.
Earlier, Toronto started the day at 2-51 after facing 18 overs late on day one.
Toronto slipped to 6-95 before Ryan Fenning (39) and then Dylan Robertson (50) and Brendon Charlton (37 not out) rescued the innings.
Robertson and Charlton combined in an 87-run partnership for the eighth wicket. The win saw Toronto move into equal third.
COMPETITION LADDER: Hamwicks 50, University 47, Toronto 42, Charlestown 42, Merewether 41, Wests 39, Wallsend 33, Cardiff 31, Stockton 20, Waratah 17, Belmont 16, City 15.