DISMISSED: Wests batsman Rhodri Evans gets caught behind by Cardiff keeper Joe Winter on Saturday. Picture: Brock Perks
A MONTH ago, Newcastle City’s English import Richard Wharton was forced to retire on nought after he started vomiting on the pitch due to heatstroke.
Fast forward to Saturday and the 21-year-old became a marathon man.
Wharton made 140 against Wallsend at Wallsend Oval in an innings of endurance and determination.
Over 344 minutes and 86 overs the opener hit only seven boundaries and ran 29 twos.
It was not the Hertfordshire product’s finest knock, but it carried City to a dominant position of 9-351 at stumps and provided the club with a chance to fight their way out of the Newcastle district cricket basement.
‘‘It’s not my highest score and the runs didn’t come the way I liked, but it was pleasing to bat for time,’’ Wharton said.
‘‘I definitely feel the innings in my body. I just couldn’t find the middle of the bat. It didn’t come easy, but I had the determination to stick around.’’
Wharton had a perfect foil in captain Jesse Major, who ended a poor run of form to make 103 from 116 balls.
The pair built a partnership of 134 for the fourth wicket.
City’s performance followed their first win of the summer last week against Belmont.
With three rounds remaining, Wharton said the team’s goal was to escape the dreaded spoon.
‘‘We’ve had the potential; we just haven’t put it into action,’’ he said.
‘‘That first win sparked us off and I can see us going a long way with this team.’’
Western Suburbs’ (8-365) stay outside the top four could be brief after they batted themselves into a strong position against semi-final rivals Cardiff-Boolaroo at Harker Oval.
Untidiness in the field from the CBs allowed Wests to take advantage through Anthony Hobson (91) and Ben Woolmer (73), who put on a 133-run partnership.
Stockton-Raymond Terrace’s play-off hopes are also in disarray after a batting collapse late in the day left them 6-34 at stumps against Charlestown at No.1 Sportsground.
Stockton’s Andy O’Rourke (4-34) helped dismiss Charlestown for 141, but the Magpies struck back immediately when seamer Parth Shah (4-14) claimed two wickets in the opening over.
Stockton were 4-5 before limping to stumps.
At the top of the ladder, Hamilton-Wickham continue to look shaky after being dismissed for 143 by Waratah-Mayfield at Waratah Oval.
Kirk Mullard (31) and Sam Webber (49) were the only Hamwicks batsmen to score over 12 as seamer Sam Harrison (5-31) led a Tahs attack.
At stumps Waratah are 5-100 with the match wide open.
Hamwicks will likely drop from top spot if they lose as second-placed Merewether are cruising against Toronto Workers at Townson Oval.
Merewether declared at 9-300 after 102 from NSW Country batsman Pat Darwen, his second ton of the summer.
At stumps Toronto are 1-30 after Matt Petersen fell to Mark Cameron for a golden duck.
Belmont have University reeling at 6-52 at stumps chasing 220 at University Oval.
Jace Lawson (3-28) and Graeme Cameron (2-23) destroyed Uni with the ball, after Jono Laverick (77) and Daniel Bailey (37 not out) were Belmont’s stars with the willow.