ANOTHER week, another double century. Coolavin Young Guns batsman Ben Staples has taken a leaf out of Michael Clarke’s book by notching a second double century in three innings. His performance leaves the Mad Bulls reeling in the first showdown of the new year.
Staples, fresh from a score of 219 against the Coolavin Cowboys on December 15, amassed 218 runs in his team’s total of 6/428. His double century is the second of the summer and fourth score of three figures this season.
Staples combined with number five batsman Luke Snow in a stand of 317 – a record in Goulburn’s second division competition.
The Young Guns heaped further pain on their hosts by snaring a wicket in the final over the day.
The Mad Bulls must occupy the crease for 75 overs if they’re to deny the Young Guns outright victory.
The Mad Bulls’ lacklustre performance in the field was equally responsible for the double ton with Staples’ heavy hitting.
Bulls skipper Dan Cooper estimates his team dropped the prolific run-scorer on no fewer than five occasions.
Staples, meantime, cashed in. So too did his ally at the other end. Snow finished with 94 and the pair a recordbreaking partnership.
“I’m in pretty good form with the bat, but it’s not about how many runs I score, it’s about the team,” Staples said.
“If I score runs, we have a nice total to bowl at.”
While aware of the team’s position, Staples admits to taking satisfaction at scoring runs.
“That said, I do like scoring runs.”
The Young Guns’ resurgence, led largely by the willow of Staples, has opened up the race for Goulburn’s second grade cricket title.
The Coolavin-based outfit rolled inter-club rivals the Cowboys in the match prior to Christmas and look set to take care of the Mad Bulls, last summer’s grand finalist.
They’ll climb from last position to within striking distance of the top four.
Defending champions Workers Stags Blue again look likely to fare prominently come finals time, as do the Cowboys, Hibo Tully Park Gold and the Gordon Hotel.
The second half of round 10 matches resume on Saturday. The Mad Bulls, precariously positioned at 1/6, host the Young Guns at Marulan, the Gordon Hotel continues its clash with Workers Stags Blue at Kenmore, Workers Stags White takes guard against the Coolavin Cowboys at Trinity and the two Hibo Tully Park teams resume in their fight for bragging rights.