Demons’ duo decimate the Cobras

Kooweerup skipper Chris Bright was at his devastating best, smashing 70 against Merinda Park. 258769 Pictures: STEWART CHAMBERS

By David Nagel


A brilliant batting display from skipper Chris Bright (70 not out) and emerging all-rounder Luke McMaster (57) has propelled Kooweerup (1/135) to a dominant nine-wicket victory over Merinda Park (131) at Denhams Road on Saturday.

The Demons opening combination made light work of the Cobras moderate offering, taking just 14 overs to carve their way to an impressive run-chase against their bogey team from last season.

Bright (45 balls) and McMaster (30) faced just 75 balls between them, racking up a 126-run partnership in one hell of a hurry.

The Demons also bowled and fielded particularly well, with McMaster (4/22 off 8) bowling with genuine pace, and Jess Mathers (3/22 off 6) and spinner Matt Bright (2/21 off 8) tying the Cobras down after a steady start.

Cobras’ openers Daniel McCalman (29) and Cambell Bryan (16) looked comfortable early, Bryan producing a cracking cover drive to bring up his team’s first boundary of the season.

McCalman was particularly strong through mid-wicket and the gully, hitting Rob Maskiell out of the attack after taking 10 from the eighth over of the innings. Key inclusion Adam McMaster (0/37 off 8) struggled to find his rhythm and to find a good length.

But the introduction of Luke McMaster, who took the ball from Maskiell, changed the complexion of the match.

Bryan, who showed signs of frustration, surprised no-one at the ground by holing out to Steve Dillon at mid-on. McCalman, who crossed paths with Bryan while the ball was in the air, was back in the pavilion next ball after edging McMaster to Chris Bright…who took a brilliant one-handed catch.

The diminutive Thudu Kumara (18) looked set for a good score until a left-handed flick down the leg-side found the outstretched arm of Adam McMaster, who took a great one-hander to give his brother his fourth wicket of the innings.

The Cobras fell away after their encouraging start…and their 131 was never going to be enough.

But they would have intended on being in the field for more than 14 overs – with Bright and McMaster going on a rampage.

“It was a nice way to start the season, considering Merinda Park have had our measure of late, so we were pretty determined to do well,” said Kooweerup coach Chris O’Hara.

“We bowled and fielded well, on a fast ground where you certainly got value for shots, to restrict them to 131 was a good effort.”

O’Hara said the emergence of Luke McMaster, and the rise in stature of Chris Bright, were both important elements for the club.

“I’d say Luke’s got the potential to be one of the best all-rounders in the WGCA,” O’Hara said.

“He took a while to adjust when he came back from Dandenong, there’s a big difference between turf and synthetic bowling, and I’m sure Adam will do the same after two or three games.

“And the development of Wombat (Bright) has been fantastic.

“He’s always played a key role in our successes, either with the gloves or with the bat, and he’s had several opportunities to go elsewhere, for good money, but he’s always stayed loyal.

“The introduction of winter cricket, he started opening in that form of the game and that developed another aspect of his game as well.

“His first ball went for four and it really put them on the backfoot.”

The Demons playing-coach – and club legend – said it was exciting to see the buy in from the players this year.

“What I’ve been really impressed with is how everyone has come back keen and really wants to have a go this year,’ he said.

“They’re doing extras, messaging each other to get to training, and that always pays dividends at some stage throughout the season.”

Both teams hit the road this week, the Demons heading to Cranbourne Meadows while the Cobras face another daunting trip to Cardinia.