1st grade weren’t able to get off to a winning start after the Christmas break, losing to University by three wickets.
After Kallen Bond won the toss and elected to bat on a good looking Burrendah pitch, Iszak Milentis was the first batter to depart, caught at cover for 11, with Blair Walsh falling caught and bowled and Bond nicking off to first slip to leave the Dragons at 3 for 50.
Shayne Wornes built partnerships with John Sanders (17) and Ellis Cassidy (15), but was run out for 46 attempting a quick single, leaving the Dragons at 5 for 133 in the 42nd over.
Matt Hanna and Waheguru Dhillon came and went looking to up the tempo, but the score was boosted by an unbroken 9th wicket partnership of 38 between Luke Holt (30 from 37 deliveries) and Vidit Vashisht (15 from 18 deliveries), with a total of 8 for 192 providing something to bowl at.
Early wickets failed to materialise for the Dragons, as University opened with a partnership of 85 runs, followed by a first wicket partnership of 44 runs, with Holt and Cassidy making the breakthroughs.
The visitors looked to be cruising to victory at 2 for 155 in the 40th over, but Vashisht and Bond combined to claim five quick wickets to provide some hope.
The task of bowling the final over fell to Matt Hanna, with the Dragons needing three wickets and University needing just one run, with a bunt down the ground doing the trick.
Vashisht (3/24 from 9 overs), Bond (2/24 from 6 overs), Cassidy (1/11 from 2 overs), and Holt (1/37 from 7 overs) all picked up wickets in the losing effort.
The new year didn’t bring a change in fortune for 2nd grade, who lost to University by 20 runs at James Oval.
Liam Hindle won the toss and elected to bowl, which looked a sound decision when Lachie Searle claimed two early wickets to reduce the hosts to 2 for 18.
James Andrews chipped in with a wicket as University got their innings back on track, but the ever-reliable Stewart Hepburn continued his middle-overs dominance, picking up three wickets to leave the hosts at 6 for 99.
Declan Crowder cleaned up three lower order wickets as the hosts managed a score of 152, with Hepburn (3/39 from 10 overs) and Searle (2/5 from 7 overs) also impressing.
In reply, the early loss of Ethan Smith and Hindle got the Dragons off to a shaky start at 2 for 17.
Youngsters Sean Boers and Lachie Lake steadied the ship, but visitors struggled to recover after the loss of Boers for 25.
Lake made the only score of note, finishing with 53, as the Dragons were bowled out for 133.
The junior teams had a busy weekend, with a one day fixture on Saturday and two T20’s on Sunday.
On Saturday, the Dragons came up against Centurions at Burrendah, and posted 6 for 201 from their 50 overs, with contributions from Blake Third (52), Bradie Paliethorpe (39), and Kyall Roach (35).
A strong bowling effort from the Dragons saw Joondalup rolled for just 105, with Yethmin Kannangara (5/32 from 9.3 overs) the star, ably supported by Brayden Lee (2/29 from 10 overs), Ajit Pal Singh (1/17 from 6 overs), and Zac Blazevich (1/14 from 5 overs).
The Dragons came up against Joondalup on Sunday morning, bowling first and restricting them to 6 for 107 in their batting innings, with Kannangara (2/13 from 2 overs), Kai D’Souza (2/12 from 4 overs), Blazevich (1/13 from 3 overs), and Lawson Baker (1/21 from 3 overs) amongst the wickets.
In reply, Ethan Smith (50 not out) and Third (31) combined to ease the Dragons past their target with 29 balls to spare.
Subiaco-Floreat were the opponents in the second fixture, with the Dragons batting first and posting 7 for 109 from the 20 overs, underpinned by Roach (25) and Smith (24).
Despite the best efforts of Lee (1/15 from 4 overs), Pal Singh (1/15 from 2 overs), and Roach (1/9 from 2 overs), the Lions got over the line with 10 balls in hand.
Under 15’s were also up against Joondalup on Saturday, batting first and posting a strong score of 8 for 184 from their 50 overs, with Josh Nathan (39*) and Rajat Deshmukh (32) the standout batters.
Centurions could only manage 170 in reply, with Blake Stephen (3/17 from 5.5 overs) and Pavasan Govender (2/29 from 8 overs) performing strongly.
Against Joondalup on Sunday, the Dragons restricted to just 66 and chased it down with more than 7 overs to spare, with Govender a strong all-round performer, taking 3 for 10 with the ball and making 31 with the bat.
In their second fixture against Subiaco-Floreat, the Dragons batted first and managed 4 for 92 from their 20 overs, with Dineth Mendis top scoring with 21.
The Lions chased down the total with 3 overs to spare, with Govender (2/23 from 3 overs), Ben Mitchell (1/8 from 2 overs), Luke Herbet (1/13 from 2 overs) and Blake Stephen (1/29 from 4 overs) amongst the wickets.