A STUNNING Ben Staples double century has stalled the Coolavin Cowboys’ momentum and resurrected the Young Guns’ title chances.
Staples showed form reminiscent of his prolific 2010/11 Southern Lands First Grade campaign in a dig of 219, one that handed interclub rivals the Cowboys their second loss of the summer.
The 19-year-old resumed his innings at Trinity on 96 and with his Coolavin Young Guns teammates in trouble. He unleashed on the Cowboys attack, smashing six sixes in an innings that turned the fate of the match and potentially that of the season.
By the time Staples finished, the Young Guns had amassed 342 runs, 118 more than their rivals, and locked up the all-important first innings points.
The Young Guns arrived at Trinity for the second day of the showdown well-andtruly on the back foot.
Staples quickly altered the mood of the game. A day that began in the precarious position of 6/145 in pursuit of 224 ended with a first innings win, and a rare double century.
“It’s the best I’ve batted for a while, it was good to get some runs,” the man-of-themoment said.
“It’s nice to get a win before Christmas.”
Staples’ double century opens up the second grade competition. Workers Stags, last summer’s premiers, again look likely, while the Gordon and Mad Bulls cannot be discounter.
Just who challenges for the title will be determined in the new year.
Staples credits the state of the wicket and support from lower-order batsmen for his massive score.
“The pitch was playing really nice… I’ve got to thank Sully [Michael Sullivan] for hanging in there,” Staples said.
“If he didn’t survive, I wouldn’t have scored the runs.”
Elsewhere on Saturday the Mad Bulls pulled off a come-from-behind win after conceding first innings points to Workers Stags Blue.
The Mad Bulls, last summer’s preliminary finalists, took a 152 run deficit into the second innings of the two day match.
A stunning century from Aaron Grant turned the match. Grant belted 128 not out as the Mad Bulls declared eight down for 307.
The bowlers backed up Grant’s performance by sweeping through Workers for 116. Skipper Dan Cooper was the star, snaring seven wickets.
Meantime at Kenmore, a first innings ton by Sam Cosgrove laid the platform for a Gordon Hotel win.
Scott Boughton jagged four wickets for the victors.