Top-of-the-table battle in balance
After the opening day of the final homeand-away round of Grampians Cricket Association the top two teams are in a commanding position and a third game is in the balance.
At Tatyoon, Buangor-tatyoon had to secure points to ensure a spot in the finals but, after winning the toss and electing to bat against Swifts-great Western, put in a shocker and was dismissed for 33 runs.
Seven Buangor-tatyoon batsmen failed to score in an innings where Swifts-great Western used just two bowlers and 19 overs.
Lachlan Patching returned 7-19 and Matt Heffer 3-11.
In the remaining 60 overs available in the day, Swifts-great Western posted 6-185, establishing a lead of 153.
Sam Cocks took his season’s tally of runs to 466 with another century, this time clipping 115 in a knock that included six fours and four sixes. Heffer finished 28 not out.
Zander Mcdougall took 3-53 to be the best of the Buangor-tatyoon bowlers.
The visiting Combine will look for the full 10 points available because Youth Club is breathing down its neck, also likely to win outright against Halls Gap.
An overnight declaration will leave the bowlers to dismiss Buangor-tatyoon a second time and claim full points.
Captain and mainstay Michael Harricks will return for the home team to bolster the ranks.
At Stawell’s Central Park, Youth Club, which was hoping for a better effort from Buangor-tatyoon in order to reclaim top spot on the ladder, is well in command over Halls Gap.
Winning the toss and seeking maximum points, Youth Club put the Gappers in to bat and managed to bowl their opponents out for 96 runs.
Charlie Mcintosh again top-scored for Halls Gap with 38, while the best of the Clubbers bowlers were Cam Kimber and Jarrod Illig with three wickets each.
In reply, the Clubbers have reached 5-115 and established a lead of 22 runs.
Trent Homden, 31, and Nic Baird, 29, were the main scorers in the innings, which featured Faizan Butt as the chief wicket taker with 3-25.
The Clubbers will probably declare and seek outright points, in the hope Buangor-tatyoon can hold out Swifts-great Western.
Halls Gap will be able to judge improvement by its second innings.
Battle for fourth
Aradale and St Andrews are locked in a battle at Ararat’s Alexandra Oval to challenge Buangor-tatyoon for fourth spot.
Batting first, St Andrews managed a moderate 116 with Ned Bohner, 25, and Riley Taylor, 27, the main run getters, while Tyler Cronin had the impressive figures of 5-19. In reply, Aradale is 3-34 – 82 runs behind. Tom Mills already has 3-11 and will be the key to a Saints victory.
Scotty Turner is unbeaten on 12 and his efforts will probably determine the result.
Both teams would like an outright result but this is unlikely.