Thrilling victory B-grade triumphant
Benalla Bushrangers B-grade side won a nail-biting one-day game at Friendlies Reserve on Saturday with victory coming off the final ball of the match.
Batting first against Wangaratta Magpies, the Bushies completed their 36 overs with 150 runs on the board for the loss of five wickets.
Openers Kieran Linke and Matty Males were both out cheaply, but the top and middle-order steadied and saw the overs out.
Deakyn Kohler top-scored with an unbeaten 38 while Senaka Lakmal was also not out, making a valuable 30 runs.
In a great display of youth and experience, Matt Knight and Richard Hubbard made 23 and 21 respectively.
Knight then continued his form with the ball in hand, removing one of the Maggies' opening batsmen and the number three. When Josh Ormand bowled Zach Wallace, the visitors were 3/36.
The Maggies' middle-order dug in and when Lakmal trapped Darren Grant LBW, the game was evenly poised with the Maggies 5/105.
It all came down to the last over with the Maggies needing five to win and Knight with ball in hand.
After a tense first five balls, the visitors needed two runs from the final ball and Knight delivered with a full and straight delivery which resulted in a run out and victory to the Bushies.
Knight finished with 2/27 while Ormand, Lakmal and Linke all got a wicket each. B-grade has the bye this weekend, so they can start Christmas celebrations early.
The A-reserve game, played at the Benalla Showgrounds, also went down to the wire with the home side losing by one run to Delatite.
Sent in to bat, the finished on 6/131 from overs.
Brendan Hernan top scored with 45 while Regan Sheehan made 28.
Christian DeFazio made 20 and Trev Saker made 13, while Dyan Barber was unbeaten on 12.
Henry Sadaya got the bowling Bushies their 36 off to a good start, removing one of the Delatite openers cheaply, with Reuben James bowling the other opener.
As in the B-grade game, it all came down to the last over and the final ball. The Delatite batsmen managed to scramble through for a single to win by one run.
James finished with two wickets while Saker, Sadaya and Brent Wallace all got a wicket each.
This Saturday, the A-reserve side is at home at the Gardens against Ovens Valley United.
The A-graders will rue a few missed chances in a close loss to Rovers United Bruck at the Gardens.
Captain James Carboon won the toss and elected to bowl and would have been ecstatic with his choice as the visitors fell to 7/48.
Conor Brodie and Dale Stratton did all the damage early, but John Hyde and GL Shantha from the visitors put a stop to the collapse, putting on almost 100 runs to see RUB finish the 40 overs on 9/174.
Stratton was the pick of the bowlers with 3/16 from his eight overs while Brodie finished with 2/29. Nate Abley, Lee Brennan, Ryan Lloyd-Williams and Bode Stevens all took a wicket each.
In the run chase, the Bushies were looking the goods with just one wicket down and the score on 92. But the loss of five wickets for just two runs turned the game on its head.
The Bushies were eventually all out for 160 in the 37th over.
Ash Ellis did a great job to open and top score with 59 runs while Abley made 38. Josh McCallum made 22 and in his A-grade debut after a long spell with injury, Simon Holmes made 19.
A-Grade has the bye this weekend.
The C-grade team had a tough day at the office (Arundel St) up against top side Rovers United Bruck.
The visitors batted first and smashed up 5/236 from their 36 overs. Trev Taylor was the pick of the bowlers with two wickets while Steve McCallum, Grayson Kirk and Charlie Daws grabbed a wicket each.
In reply, the Bushies were bundled out for 55. Phil Begnone (13) and Mitch Cullen (11) were the only batsmen to make it onto double figures.
This Saturday, C-grade plays Yarrawonga-Mulwala at home at the Friendlies Reserve.
In the juniors, the under-16s continued on their winning way with an easy victory over Wangaratta Magpies at Norm Minns oval.
Bowling first, the Bushies kept the Maggies to just 51 runs from their allocated 21 overs.
Angus O’Halloran and Henry Sadaya took two wickets, while Jasper DeFazio, Charles Moll, Jack Fullager, Dom Buckley and Grayson Kirk grabbed a wicket each.
In reply, the Bushies finished on 7/114 as Luke Dunne and Bode Stevens both retired on 33 runs and Matt Knight chipped in with 13.
This Saturday, the under-16s travel to Myrtleford to play Ovens Valley United. The under-16s currently sit on top of the WDCA ladder.
In under-14 action, the Benalla Bushrangers defeated City Colts at the Benalla Gardens in a close game.
Batting first, the Bushies made 2/88 from their 21 overs. Lucas Hales top scored to retire on 23 not out while Flynn Weeks was also not out on 16 runs.
Will Hyland made 10 and Ben Reardon was not out with 11 runs.
In reply, the Bushies kept the visitors to 1/73 from their 21 overs.
Will Hyland was the only wicket taker. The Benalla/Greta combine side had a bye.
This weekend the Benalla Bushrangers under-14s play Delatite in Mansfield and the Benalla/Greta combine plays City Colts at Greta.
The youngest of the Bushies played Rovers United Bruck Blue at Arundel St.
After a good display batting to finish on 4/89 from their 20 overs, the Bushies were beaten by some excellent RUB batting as the visitors amassed 160 runs for the loss of four wickets.
The young boys did a good job with the bat, making it through their 20 overs for the loss of just four wickets, which included the batting debut of James Depio and Billy Buitenhuis.
Lucas Ham top-scored to retire not out on 17 as Jonty Priest also saw his 20 balls off to be unbeaten on 13.
Archie Stevens was also unbeaten, retired for eight runs and Tom Griffith was solid, opening the innings to make three.
Mitch Cooney and Buitenhuis also retired not out. The Bushies bowling and fielding succumbed to some unbelievable batting as the visitors piled on 160 runs.
That did not stop Will Botten, with a fine caught and bowled, Cooper Binion, Mitch Cooney and Oscar Ring taking a wicket each.
This Saturday, the under-12s play Rovers United Bruck Red at the Arundel St ground Lake end.
Eyes on prize: Benalla’s A-grade wicket keeper Gary Priest concentrates behind the stumps during the weekend. Picture: Karl Phillipson