Mark Elia in action a couple of seasons ago. The Local Legend can still mix it with the best cricketers in the region.

 

The Cootamundra Bulls (2) second side is off the mark following their dominant Round Three 146-run win over the Temora Renegades at Fisher Park on Saturday. Playing in Pool B of the South West Slopes Cricket League (SWSCL), the Bulls were sent into bat by Renegade’s skipper Adam Swanston, and they made him regret the decision by piling on the runs to finish on 4/229 after 40 overs. Scott Meale scored a run-a-ball 92 at the top of the order, and he was involved in two pivotal partnerships. Meale teamed up with young Archie Piffero, and the pair put on 62 for the opening wicket before the latter was out on 28 (from 29) when bowled by Swanston.

 

Youngster Paul Bean then arrived at the crease, scoring 20 (from 18) before he was run out, and Cootamundra were 2/92. Ben Piffero was next to join Meale in the middle, and the pair added 92 runs for the third wicket before Meale was caught by Julian Drumore of Arush Singh’s bowling, leaving the Bulls at 3/184. Piffero batted out the rest of the innings, scoring 44 runs from 79 balls, while Andrew Smart added a quickfire 16 (from 8), and Riley Meale came in to score 11 not out (from 14).

 

The opening bowling tandem of Mark Elia and Riley Meale had the Renegades in all sorts, with Temora sitting at 4/4 early doors. In a stunning four-over spell, which included two maidens, Elia took 3/3, removing Drumore (0), Fynn Swavley (2), and Harry Swanston (0). Meale was almost unplayable, as he also bowled two maidens in four overs, taking 1/2 when dismissing Adam Swanston (1). Julian Drumore showed some fight for the Renegades, scoring a hard-earned 39 runs from 81 balls, but the damage was done as Cootamundra rolled through the Renegades at 8/63 in 25.4 overs.

 

 

Also taking wickets were Ben Randall (1/15 from 5), Thomas Miller (1/2 from 3), Gus Smart (1/17 from 4), and Paul Bean (1/11 from 3.4). While lamenting the fact he fell just eight runs short of a century, Meale was pleased to see his young Bulls get their first win of the season. “We’re trying to develop these young fellas and help them with a bit of advice and lead from the front,” Meale said.

 

“For instance, with the team we fielded on Saturday, seven of them were kids, and 16 and 15 and under, and only me, Mark Elia, Andrew Smart, and Thomas Miller are adults.” Elia, who’s north of 60, turned back the clock when taking three wickets. “That was his first trundle for a while, and he certainly hasn’t lost it, and yeah, he is the other side of 60, but he bowled well and a nice tight line.” Leading into the four rounds before Christmas, the young Bulls take on the Bribbaree Rams at Cranfield Oval on Saturday before a challenging run home against the Grenfell Blues, Boorowa Crocs, and Temora Tigers.

 

Meale didn’t want to think too far ahead, and he said his side will compete wherever they end up when the competition gets split into A-Grade and B-Grade earlier next year. “Being realistic, we think we’ll be in that B-Grade comp, but having said that, and if other result goes our way, it could end up either way, and if we ended up in A-Grade, it wouldn’t hurt the kids, and they would only benefit from playing against those good teams,” Meale said.