The West Wimmera Warriors’ senior teams had mixed results again in round five of the Horsham Cricket Association season, with another solid win by the C grader and an agonisingly small loss in the A grade.

West Wimmera Warriors 5/200 (45 overs) (M Dahlenburg 89, A Smith 58) lost to Noradjuha-Toolondo Bullants 8/203 (44.2 overs) (A Merrett 3/25, T Braendler 3/37)

The fifth-placed West Wimmera Warriors’ A grade team came within four balls of upsetting the undefeated reigning premiers at Norajuah on Saturday, highlighting the evenness of the competition this season.

Taking the opportunity to bat first, the Warriors set about building a solid innings, built around Mitch Dahlenburg’s 89 and Austin Smith’s 58, after they shared an 83 run partnership for the second wicket.

Dahlenburg and Brad Alexander (21) combined for a healthy partnership of 88 to take the team towards a double century score, and despite the fall of several wickets late in the innings, they finished on 200 for the loss of five wickets at the end of their 45 overs.

The defence of this target started well when Tim Braendler dismissed the dangerous Tony Caccaviello for a ‘duck’ with the team total on just two.

A second wicket, this time to Austin Merrett, with the total on 25, had the Warriors well in the game, but a 125 run partnership between opener Justin Combe (56) and Josh Beddison (61) swung the momentum back to the Bullants.

Once Combe was dismissed with the team still 51 runs short of the target, wickets began to fall regularly, and some tight bowling saw the required run-rate climb.

Through the final few overs, the rate hovered on a run per ball, and it took the Bullants until the last over of the innings to score the required runs to take the win.

Austin Merrett took three wickets for 25 runs, Tim Braendler took three for 37, and Brad Alexander and Xavier Bone took one each.

The Warriors currently sit just outside of the top four and have the opportunity this Saturday to move up the ladder when they welcome Rupanyup-Minyip back to Davis Park.

When these teams met at the same venue back in round one, the Warriors were well on the way to overhauling Rupanyup-Minyip’s total when the weather forced the game to be abandoned, and the teams shared the points.

A win on Saturday will keep West Wimmera in the hunt for a place in the finals.

West Wimmera Warriors 8/186 (40 overs) (D Bullen 38, J George 32, N Spalding 23, A Dickinson 22, J Dickinson 22) defeated Horsham Saints Black 162 (35.3 overs) (L Hahne 3 wickets, D Bullen 2 wickets, A Dickinson 2 wickets)

An innings-high score of 38 by opener Darcy Bullen dominated the first half of the C grade Warriors’ innings against Horsham Saints Black on Saturday, while 32 by Jeevan George highlighted the latter overs.

Around them, Nathan Sparling (23), Ash Dickinson (22), and Jobe Dickinson (22) all made significant contributions to the team’s total of 186 for the loss of eight wickets in their 40 overs.

Several significant partnerships in the Horsham Saints Black innings kept the game alive, but when none of the last five innings contributed more than ten runs to the total, they fell 24 runs short of the target to suffer their first loss for the season.

The leading bowlers were Lochie Hahne with three wickets, and Darcy Bullen and Ash Dickinson with two each.

This result leaves the Warriors as the only undefeated team in the C grade competition, which is a record they will aim to maintain when they travel to Lubeck to take on Lubeck-Murtoa.