Wagga City’s unbeaten streak has ended in a big way.
The premiers were bowled out for 59 during the six-wicket loss to Lake Albert on Saturday.
It is the first time the Cats have lost since Feburary.
They went through the last four matches undefeated to claim the premiership, and hadn’t lost all the season, including in the Twenty20 competition.
However playing with the competition’s best player, Jon Nicoll, Wagga City looked a shadow of their usual selves.
Only captain Josh Thompson (24) and Aaron Maxwell (15) made it to double figures
Lake Albert captain Alex Smeeth was thrilled to take such a dominant win.
However he didn’t think his team do too much out of the ordinary.
“We were really pleased,” Smeeth said.
“We didn’t do anything particularly special but we bowled good areas, took all our catches and literally watched them give all their wickets away.
“We didn’t do anything other than stick to the plan we had set out.
“Obviously Jon Nicoll wasn’t there but you can only beat who is in front of you.”
Lake Albert got on top quickly with Smeeth and Tom Doig opening the attack.
The Englishman finished with two wickets while Doig snared three.
In his return to Wagga cricket, Jesse Hampton picked up two dismissals while veteran Scott Billington finished with three wickets as well.
“Everyone who bowled bowled good areas,” Smeeth said.
“We didn’t let them get away with anything and while their wasn’t one bloke who stood out we all just did their jobs.”
With Billington removing Thompson, the Cats lost their last six wickets for six runs including losing three wickets for no runs after the drinks break.
Lake Albert had a couple of slips up in the chase, but scored the winning runs in the 16th over.
Isaac Cooper made 20 while Smeeth finished unbeaten on 29 to guide his team home.
Dean Crane and Max Harper both took two wickets but it wasn’t enough.
Smeeth would have liked to have seen a better performance with the bat.
“We would have liked to have done it one or two, it might have been a bit better, but we weren’t too bothered at the end of the day,” he said.
It continues an up and down start for the season for the Bulls and Smeeth is looking to use the win to try and kick start their season with a place in the one-day final on the line.
They tackle St Michaels on Saturday while Wagga City will look to hit back against Wagga RSL.