Youth Club’s 11th-hour bid
Youth Club has a strong chance to make a dramatic last-minute entry into Grampians Cricket Association’s final four at the expense of Aradale.
Needing an outright victory over Pomonal and for Aradale to lose against Buangor, at the end of day one the Clubbers could not have asked for a better set of numbers.
Buangor recorded a season-high score of 8-275 at Ararat’s Alexandra Oval against Aradale and the Clubbers skittled Pomonal for 40 before knocking up 5-169, and now have the Tigers 2-26 still 103 runs behind.
In other games, Navarre has a handy lead of 165 runs and has already taken four wickets against Halls Gap, and SwiftsGreat Western has Tatyoon on the ropes at 5-32 chasing the Combine’s 139.
At Stawell’s Central Park, the Clubbers could not have believed their luck when Pomonal, after winning the toss, decided to bat. After just 26.1 overs Pomonal was all out to the Clubbers’ attack with Cam Kimber and Damon Folkes taking 5-21 and 4-7 respectively.
The Clubbers, sensing the urgency, belted up 5-169, declared thanks to Folkes, 83, and Bailey Taylor, 57.
The Clubbers are well on their way to outright points.
At Alexandra Oval, Buangor posted an imposing score for Aradale to chase down to ensure a spot in the finals. Buangor won the toss and had no hesitation in batting, and with Shaun Allen the only batsman failing to make double figures, scored a creditable 8-275.
Leading the runs was Jack Fraser with 65 and Tyson Carr with 45 in what was a formidable total.
The best of Aradale’s bowlers was Brent Tate with five wickets.
Aradale’s batsmen will have to be at their best if they are to match this total. Riley Wood, Tate and Scotty Turner will be a big key to Aradale’s chase. Spinner Chris Jerram has turned in some great figures recently for Buangor.
In the battle between seventh and eighth, Navarre has its nose well and truly in front thanks to a century from Jesse Hannett and a 49 from Brad Slorach.
Navarre, batting first, scored 245 and has Halls Gap at 4-80 in reply.
Best of the Gappers’ bowlers was Ben Iseppi with 3-58 from 14 overs.
The Gappers need another 165 runs and it is hard to see where these will come from.
In the battle for top spot at Tatyoon, Swifts-great Western has bounced back from a disappointing first innings of 139, by taking five relatively cheap Hawks wickets, including match winners Jarrod Blandford and Michael Harricks.
In an innings that never got going, the Combine made it to 139 thanks to captain Sam Cocks and Gary Ranton. Best of the Hawks bowlers were Harricks, Blandford, and Aaron Byron with two each.
The Combine’s best bowler in the 18 overs bowled was Matt Heffer with 4-20.
Tatyoon’s bottom half has a bit to do if it is to get the 108 runs required for victory.