Final top four jostle in Grampians cricket
As Grampians Cricket Association enters its final homeand-away round for the season, finalists appear to be taking shape. But the exact finishing order is undecided.
Three games have a bearing on the final-four wash-up, while the fourth is purely academic.
The match that has no bearing on the finals is between Halls Gap and Navarre.
Both teams lost outright last round, so one team will redeem itself, and on form this would be the Grasshoppers.
Navarre has an edge in talent, with main run-getters Tom and Jessie Hannett a class above the Gappers’ batsmen.
Swifts-great Western leads the competition by two points from Tatyoon, but must travel to Tatyoon.
The Hawks are the only team to beat the Combine this season, and another win would see them cement that all-important top-two finish.
Pomonal failed to fulfil an association directive to play a rescheduled match against Swifts-great Western on Sunday and the Combine is claiming a forfeit and six points.
If granted, the Combine would have a strong grip on top spot, which would only loosen with an outright loss to Tatyoon.
It was interesting to see former premiership captain Jackson Dark play his first game for the Combine on Saturday.
The Combine might have a bit more batting depth than the Hawks, although Jarrod Blandford’s talents cannot be ignored.
Aradale comes up against Buangor in a must-win for Aradale.
An Aradale loss could see it exposed as a finalist, while a win could elevate it to as high as second. Buangor has come into a bit of form lately with a big outright win over Navarre.
Chris Jerram has been devastating with the ball on Ararat’s Alexandra Oval pitch recently and is expected to play a big part in the match.
Youth Club sits nine points behind Aradale and would need Aradale to lose, and then defeat Pomonal outright at Stawell’s Central Park, to gain a last-minute finals berth.
The Clubbers will give it their best shot, but it’s a big ask.
Last week’s games featured three outright victories in the scramble for extra points.
In the battle of the mountain men, Pomonal defeated Halls Gap outright.
Resuming at 6-62 the Gappers made it to 95, and when asked to bat again made a creditable 213 with Charlie Mcintosh, 55, and Brett Thomas, 41, the main contributors. This forced the Tigers to bat again, but at 1-33 recorded victory.
Swifts-great Western had a comfortable win over Aradale, recording 9-186, with James Devery, 56, and Rick Peters, 43, ensuring the win.
Buangor had no hesitation in asking Navarre to follow on and the Grasshoppers faltered to be all out for just 32 on the bowler-friendly wicket.
Jack Ganley finished with 5-18.
At Tatyoon, Youth Club failed by just nine runs to keep its season alive.
Batting a second time, Tatyoon was all out for 126 with Michael Harricks hitting 66.
This left the Clubbers with 140 runs to get, but they fell short on 131, Cam Kimber top-scoring with 59.