Pigeons reign supreme
Homers will enter a Horsham Cricket Association Christmas break in a prime position to claim both major titles up for grabs this season.
The unbeaten Pigeons are clear leaders on overall and one-day ladders, with their biggest challenge likely to come from regular grand-final rival and second-placed Rupanyup-minyip.
The respective ladders mirror each other, with Horsham Saints sitting third and Laharum fourth with Jung Tigers and Blackheath-dimboola outside the top four.
With games set to resume after the break with one-day clashes on January 13, Horsham Saints appear to have put themselves in a powerful position to feature prominently come finals.
The Saints beat Jung Tigers in a oneday thriller that went to the line at Horsham’s Community Oval, surviving long enough to make a Tigers’ score of 152.
The Saints were all-out after sneaking only three runs ahead of the target. All-rounder Justtin Combe, back from suspension, was the primary destroyer for the winners, instigating a collapse by landing slow seamers on a length and capturing an incredible 5-9.
Fellow all-rounder Tony Caccaviello then top-scored with an important 56 as the Saints, despite wickets falling, clipped their way to an important victory. Veteran Tiger Marty Knight collected a consolation 5-16 in what represented the Tigers’ fourth narrow loss for the season.
Jung Tigers, with two one-day and three two-game fixtures remaining, find themselves three points outside the top four on overall and one-day ladders.
Homers consolidated their vice-like hold on the competition with another comprehensive win, this time against Blackheath-dimboola in a twilight match at Horsham City Oval. The Pigeons bowled the Bulls out for 106, offspinner Simon Hopper snaring 5-34 and left-armer Eddie Landwehr 3-20.
Matt Everett, 34, and Brodie Cramer, 27, offered the main resistance in Blackheath-dimboola’s middle order.
Homers then responded by losing only one wicket, opener Michael Langford out for 67 and Sandy Hodge, 27, and Paddy Mills, 10, unbeaten when they passed the target.
Laharum, meanwhile, appears set as the main rival with Jung Tigers for a swinging spot in the top four.
The Mountain Men would have gone a long way to consolidate a top-four position had they managed an upset victory over Rupanyup-minyip at Laharum. But the home side could manage only 148, which was probably never going to be enough against the Blue Panthers’ potent top order.
Rupanyup-minyip responded with 2-156 in 33 overs, reliable all-rounder Ryan Metelmann leading the way with a first-drop 81. Daniel Schaper was next best with 23. Earlier in the day Daniel Griffiths topscored with 47 for Laharum and young Blake Turner captured 4-31 for the winners.
Resumes with one-day round on January 13.
Rupanyup-minyip 2-156 (R. Metelmann 81no) d Laharum 148 (D. Griffiths 47; B. Turner 4-31), Homers 1-120 (M. Langford 67, S. Hodge 27no) d Blackheath-dimboola 106 (M. Everett 34, B. Cramer 27; S. Hopper 5-34, E. Landwehr 3-20), Horsham Saints 155 (T. Caccaviello 56; M. Knight 5-16) d Jung Tigers 152 (B. Jensz 25; Justtin Combe 5-9, M. Combe 3-32).
Overall: Homers 45 points, 3.19 percent; Rupanyup-minyip 36, 1.21; Horsham Saints 30, 1.00; Laharum 18, 0.61; Jung Tigers 15, 1.17; Blackheath-dimboola 0, 0.40. Cornell-schwedes one-day: Homers 33, 2.25; Rupanyup-minyip 24, 1.34; Horsham Saints 18, 0.18; Laharum 18, 0.77; Jung Tigers 15, 1.38; Blackheath-dimboola 0, 0.45.
Oneday round, Navarre v Buangor, Tatyoon v Halls Gap, Pomonal v Swifts-great Western, Aradale v Youth Club.
Youth Club 182 (A. Barham 41, M. Healy 37, T. Homden 34; A. Mccormack 3-33, B. Iseppi 3-35) d Halls Gap 101 (L. Pyke 43no, J. Gay 28; M. Healy 4-19, C. Kimber 3-10), Swiftsgreat Western 5-194 (S. Cocks 49, T. Nicholson 44, J. Devery 44) d Navarre 125 (T. Hannett 31, A. Shovan 29no; J. Parkin 3-12), Aradale 1-108 (R. Wood 54no, B. Tate 33no) d Pomonal 9-102 (B. Hosemans 37, L. Jordan 28; C. Ralph 3-18), Buangor 4-95 (J. Ganley 38no) d Tatyoon 92 (J. Blandford 27; L. Oddie 6-5).
Overall: Swifts-great Western 34, 2.43; Youth Club 31, 1.84; Aradale 30, 1.22; Buangor 25, 1.39; Tatyoon 22, 1.54; Pomonal 12, 0.80; Navarre 6, 0.48; Halls Gap 0, 0.23. One-day: Youth Club 18, 3.22; Aradale 18, 1.71; Swifts-great Western 12, 1.59; Buangor 6, 1.05; Navarre 6, 0.84; Tatyoon 6, 0.53; Pomonal 6, 0.52; Halls Gap 0, 0.44.
Resumes January 13 with one-day round.
St Arnaud 7-115 (J. Patching 37, C. Mcgregor 4-15) d Marnoo 7-106 (S. Macpherson 37no; J. Tillig 3-18), Jeffcott 3-153 (L. Jones 52, M. Griffiths 49, L. Sarre 29; D. Hawkes 3-17) d Donald 4-134 (C. Anderson 45no, D. Ruurds 31), Birchip 6-93 (R. Lehmann 4-19) d St Marys 7-83 (B. Cheney 41; J. Reid 3-5).
Brim-kellalac Sheep Hills 42, 1.81; Jeffcott 36, 1.57; Donald 27, 1.09; Birchip 27, 0.82; St Arnaud 27, 0.70; Marnoo 24, 1.08; St Marys 9, 0.40.
Resumes on February 3 with twoday round.
SEARCHING FOR RUNS: Blackheath-dimboola’s Matt Everett gets down on one knee to caress a ball through mid-on during a Horsham Cricket Association twilight match at Horsham City Oval.
Picture: PAUL CARRACHER