MITCHELL has suffered its second inter-council trial defeat in two weeks, going down to Macquarie Valley by three wickets on Saturday.
Batting first at Wade Park, Mitchell limped to be all out for 117 after being 9-77.
The black caps have Blue Mountains quick Chris Boothroyd to thank for reaching triple figures, with the tailender hitting an unbeaten 39 coming in at number 10 to provide the Mitchell tail with a much needed wag.
But against the might of Macquarie 117 was never going to be enough.
Despite a collapse of sorts that resulted in Macquarie falling from 2-82 to 7-103, veteran Jason Ryan (nine not out) and young quick Wade Potter (14no) steadied the ship to guide the Western Zone heavyweights to 7-121.
Mitchell skipper Daniel Casey was understandably frustrated with his side’s woeful batting.
“We strengthened our batting with a few guys being out but 117 is not enough against a side like Macquarie,” the Bathurst-based Casey said.
“Our last partnership produced about 50 which at least gave us something to bowl at.”
Mitchell won last year’s inter-council series but, after dropping the match against Lachlan by 88 runs a week ago, had little hope of making it back-to-back triumphs.
Casey said his side’s fall from grace was disappointing.
“In saying that we’ve had a lot of new guys in the side this season. Jameel Qureshi came back which helped,” he said, Qureshi taking 2-11 on Saturday while fellow Bathurst bowlers Matt Fearnley (2-37) and Henry Shoemark 92-27) were also in the wickets.
“I was impressed with the way we bowled on both days. Macquarie ended up seven or eight (wickets) down there and we could just as easily dropped our heads when they were 2-80 and lost the game by eight wickets. We dug in and it was good to see.
“Next year, I think the President’s Cup will be back and we’ll obviously look to pick our strongest side and perform a bit better with the bat.”
Casey highlighted the contribution of Boothroyd as crucial to Mitchell this summer.