Crudeli sets up Country Week win

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Cameron NewboldThe West Australian
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Albany Cricket Association claimed their second senior Country Week cricket A-section title in four years after trouncing Eastern Goldfields Cricket Association in the final at Murdoch University.

After being thrashed by Peel at the WACA in last year's A-section final, Albany rebounded to reach their third final in four years on the back of five straight wins during the preliminary rounds.

The Whalers were not about to let another title slip from their grasp. They set Eastern Goldfields a challenging 191 runs to win before delivering a devastating performance with the ball to secure the 2014 title.

Matt Clothier once again led the charge with the bat, making a superb 71 while his close mate and Country XI allC-rounder Julian Crudeli chipped in with 42.

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Crudeli then destroyed Eastern Goldfields with the ball to finish with 7-39.

The 23-year-old speedster fittingly took the final wicket for the jubilant Whalers.

Whalers captain Nathan Dovey said he never doubted his side on their way to the 86-run win.

"I am really proud of the guys," he said.

"In my mind I had faith in every single one of them and the confidence we could win."

Eight of last year's side returned this year to go with the key inclusions of former Country XI star Craig Tonkin, Clothier, Ben Grey and Ryan Kinnear.

Clothier had an outstanding week and was deservingly awarded the Barry Shepherd Medal as the best player at the carnival.

The patient left-hander scored 362 runs at an average of 72, which included a century against Williams, to top the A-section batting aggregate, while Tonkin averaged over 40 with 249 runs.

Grey was a revelation, opening the attack in his A-section debut and finishing with an impressive 15 wickets at an average of 9.8.

"I was very happy to get to 190," Dovey said. "Overall, as an association, we are doing well, getting that double senior and junior country week, the future is bright."

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