Vital points up for grabs
Buangor-tatyoon collected six points against Youth Club and Pomonal finished with 10 against Halls Gap after round eight in Grampians Cricket Association’s A Grade competition.
Resuming at 1-6, Youth Club, which had already sacrificed first-innings points to Buangor-tatyoon, batted through to declare at 8-134 with Trent Homden, Nic Baird and Gary Martin all making 30s.
The declaration left Youth Club 117 runs in front and with 40 overs to dismiss its opponent for a second time, and a chance to win outright.
But the Hawks batted cautiously in their second dig to finish 2-82, Shaun Allan top-scoring with an unbeaten 36, which secured the first-innings result.
Pomonal, meanwhile, enjoyed outright success, responding to the Gappers’ 83 with an unconvincing 7-101 declared and then dismissing its opponents for a second time for 70.
The Tigers then had an easy run chase of 52 for a second-innings victory.
During action on Saturday, Halls Gap’s Arsalan Khan took 5-33 from 13 overs and Pomonal’s Lachlan Dalkin 6-23.
This week, Swifts-great Western takes on Youth Club in a two-day match at Stawell’s Central Park, which many would see as a final preview.
The only time this season the clubs met was in a T20 clash, where Youth Club won by two runs in preliminary rounds on carpet before the Combine prevailed in the final on turf by 50 runs.
Youth Club will be looking for a better effort from its batsmen than last round where it fell for just 51 runs.
Baird and Cam Kimber have carried the Clubbers’ batting and will be the key to posting a defendable score.
The Clubbers have relied on bowlers Kimber, Clinton Slorach and Angus Barham for their wins.
They are up against batsmen Sam Cocks, who had a good country week, and Travis Nicholson who is in good form along with other handy bats.
Matt Heffer, Jayden Mccarthy and spinner Matt Fitzgerald will carry the Combine’s bowling.
In other matches, Aradale travels to Halls Gap in an effort to obtain the 10 points needed to join Buangor-tatyoon in fourth place.
Travis Horvatek, Haider Ali and the Fulton brothers will lead the attack against the Gappers’ Charlie Mcintosh, who will be more comfortable on carpet.
Luke Stevens and Khan will lead the Gappers’ attack as they attempt to put Tyler Cronin and the Fultons under pressure.
Finally, St Andrews faces up to Pomonal at Ararat’s Alexandra Oval in what could be a danger game for the Tigers.
The Saints have much to play for, being in a three-way tussle with Aradale and Buangor-tatyoon for fourth spot.
The Saints have capable all-rounders in Tom Mills, Adam Haslett and James Laidlaw, who could go a long way to winning this match.
In other association news, although being competitive in three of its four games, Grampians failed to win a game at Bendigo Country Week.
Grampians’ best batsman for the week was Captain Sam Cocks with 231 runs and the best bowler Lachie Oddie with 13 wickets, both of whom led the division for the week.
Swifts-great Western also lost its semi-final of the Sungold T20 to Hamilton on Sunday.
Winning the toss and batting, the Combine posted 7-112 to put Hamilton under pressure but Hamilton made the runs in the 14th over.
Warrnambool’s Brierly Christ Church won the competition 8-176 to Hamilton’s 53.