BRAD Hillman knew it wasn’t just any other game on the weekend and stood up when it mattered most as his side recorded an eight wicket victory over Camperdown on Saturday.
The two sides played for the annual Graham Hillman Shield, a match which honours Brad’s late father who played for both clubs.
The Bulls retained the shield for another 12 months on the back of a big performance from one of their veterans.
In a day to remember for the Hillman family, Brad tore through Camperdown’s batting line-up, taking 5/22 off 10 overs as the Bulls bowled Camperdown out for 51 in under 22 overs.
The match coincided with Brad claiming his 300th career wicket for Pomborneit, capping off a special day.
Whilst the occasion was important to Brad and his achievement was special, he said it was also important for his side’s season that they registered their first one day win.
“Yeah (it was special), especially after the week before that I had,” Hillman said when speaking about his performance.
“I knew I had to dig deep and I had 300 wickets on the table, so I knew there was a bit on the cards to play for.
“We knew we needed to stick with the pack, and we needed to have a win for a start but a big win was handy to try and get some momentum.”
The Bulls elected to bowl first and made the most of their time in the field, and had the visitors on the back foot early at 4/45.
The home side upped the ante from that point, taking the last six wickets for just five runs.
Hillman found an ally in Stephen Walters, with the latter taking 4/13, as the pair combined for nine of the 10 Camperdown wickets.
Jye McLaughlin (12), Steven Fisher (12) and Ryan Robbins (11) were the only batsmen to make starts in what was a day to forget for Camperdown.
Hillman said his performance came down to having ‘one of those days’, adding that he felt as though he had been bowling well recently.
“They came out alright (this week), it was just one of them days,” Hillman said.
“Some days the ball swings for you and some days it doesn’t, but it did a fair bit on Saturday.”
The Bulls had little trouble in their run chase, losing just two wickets as they reached the required total in the 21st over.
David Murphy (19), Tim Place (15) and Grant Place (13 not out) shared the runs for the Bulls with Simon Richardson (1/8) and Jack Atkins (1/15) Camperdown’s wicket takers.
In a pleasing sign for the Bulls, skipper Michael Townsend returned from a week’s absence and was able to rally his players and refocus their season.
Hillman said his leader got the team together to discuss where they were at; adding that he was hopeful Townsend can get himself into form.
“Mick came back, he had a week off, but he got everyone on the same page,” Hillman said.
“We had a team meeting beforehand, and Mick just said the little things are making a difference and we need to start leading from the front.
“He looked good on Saturday; he bowled a couple of overs and looked a lot better than he had been.
“He’s had an interrupted start to his season; hopefully he can get a bit of momentum going (moving forward).”
Hillman said that Townsend’s appointment as skipper had been positive for the club, saying it’s ‘good to have a different perspective, a different voice.’
The Bulls were well aware ahead of the season about the state of their list according to Hillman, but the opening bowler was pleased with their performances on the weekend.
He added that the side’s senior players stood up for Pomborneit on the weekend, but they needed to continue to do so each week to assist their juniors’ development.
“We knew that from the start of the year we were going to rely on four or five blokes with bat and ball,” Hillman said.
“We’re fairly young (after our stronger players), so we need to lead the way for them (our juniors).
Meanwhile, Bookaar delivered the first blow to Mortlake’s premiership defence, with a comfortable 78 run victory at D.C. Farran Oval.
The Pelicans elected to bat first and were in early trouble, with the home side taking four early wickets to have Bookaar 4/20 and on the back foot.
But the Pelicans were able to dig deep and recovered from the early position, finishing 7/159 from their 50 overs.
Bookaar skipper Simon Baker followed up last weekend’s unbeaten 63 with 87, as he headlined the Pelicans’ recovery effort.
Baker was able to steady his side, consolidating the loss of wickets with partnerships he shared with Michael Winzar and Jarrod Evans.
Evans finished unbeaten on 22, with the partnership between he and Baker netting 73 runs for the seventh wicket.
Mortlake’s innings mirrored that of the Pelicans, as Bookaar also claimed four early wickets to have the reigning premiers 4/12.
The Pelicans however, did what Mortlake were unable to do, and continued applying pressure, taking wickets regularly.
The Cats slumped to 8/46 just after drinks, but were able to add 35 for the remaining two wickets, before the Pelicans dismissed them for 81 in the 46th over.
Fraser Lucas (3/7) and Shaun Moloney (3/20) each took three wickets for the Pelicans, with four of their team-mates each taking a wicket.
The disciplined bowling effort from the Pelicans restricted Mortlake’s scoring ability as the visitors bowled a remarkable 20 maidens.