Finals race heats up with vital wins

Emerald huddle before play against Tooradin. The Bombers claimed an important win over the Seagulls. 189838 Picture: CATHERINE SMITH

WGCA DISTRICT AND SUB-DISTRICT DIVISION

REVIEW – ROUND 12 (DAY TWO)

DISTRICT

Cranbourne Meadows suffered its first defeat of the season, going down to Officer. The Bullants, in desperate need of a win to stay in the top four, produced their finest performance of the season to come away with a rousing win.

After dismissing the Rebels for just 90 runs on day one, the Bullants began day two at 5/101. With Peter Quinn (38) and Adam Reid (28) leading the way, Officer posted a total of 180. Sibghat Ullah (3/24) bowled brilliantly for Cranbourne Meadows, compiling 10 maidens in his 19 overs of work.

Officer claimed the win but was unable to grab outright points as Cranbourne Meadows finished day two at 2/43.

After restricting Clyde to 119 on day one, Cardinia entered day two at 6/65 with plenty on the line.

Needing 55 runs to claim the win, the Bulls found it extremely tough going as Matthew Bayliss (3/33) claimed all of his wickets on day two.

Sitting precariously at 9/102 – still 17 runs short of Clyde’s total – Cardinia needed a hero and one man rose to the occasion.

That man was Luke Turner. His composure and ability to steady the ship led the way, while Jack Glen (3 not out) importantly stayed at the crease. Turner made a match-winning knock of 37 runs to guide Cardinia to a total of 129 in 41 overs and the win.

The win was a very important one in the context of their season as they remain in third position; 24 points ahead of fourth-placed Officer and just 12 points behind second-placed Nar Nar Goon/Maryknoll.

After posting a strong total of 219 on day one, Tooradin was unable to defend its total on day two against an Emerald team desperate for points to keep their finals hopes alive.

The Bombers got off to a great start as openers Mitch Daley (28) and Mitch Copey (85) combined for a 50-run stand. After Daley was bowled by Daniel Quinn (1/33), Copey partnered with Trent Rolfs (44) for another strong partnership, combining for 68 runs.

Copey’s 85-run knock was a masterclass, coming off just 95 balls as he hit 9 4s and a 6. Despite the best efforts of Tooradin’s bowling attack, they were unable to slow Emerald down as the Bombers reached the target in the 34th over for the loss of five wickets.

The win sees Emerald remain well within striking distance of the fourth-placed Officer. The Bombers are just six points adrift and in what is a script-writers dream, the two teams will battle it out in the final game of the season (round 14).

It could all come down to that one game for the fourth and final spot in the postseason.

After producing a batting masterclass on day one, rain halted any chance Nar Nar Goon/Maryknoll had of taking the win over Carlisle Park.

The Marygoons declared at 9/281, before sending the Vikings in for a tricky four-over period late on day one and Carlisle Park struggled through that period to stand at 1/9 entering day two.

Unfortunately, there was no play on day two due to rain and the teams split the points in a draw.

SUB-DISTRICT 

The logjam at the top of the WGCA Sub-District ladder got even tighter over the weekend as Lang Lang and Catani both claimed big wins and Pakenham Upper/Toomuc drew with Nyora.

The Yabbies (108 points) still sit atop the ladder, but Catani (104 points) and Lang Lang (102 points) are right there with them, setting up a thrilling final two rounds.

A Catani win was never in doubt as they easily defended their massive total of 5/323 against Pakenham.

The Lions had plenty of work to do on day two and faltered from the outset, standing at 3/23 as Tyler Molloy (2/14) struck with two early wickets.

Despite Stephen Insall (33) and Liam Wolstenholme (23) steadying the ship, when Dustin Peebles (4/32) dismissed Wolstenholme, it was the beginning of the end for the Lions.

Pakenham (113) lost their final seven wickets for just 40 runs as Peebles continued his incredible form this season.
Lang Lang’s total of 9/299 was far too much for Gembrook as the Tigers cruised home.

Chasing a massive total, the Brookers were never really in the hunt as Ricky Caddell (3/16) bowled brilliantly for 10 maidens in his 16 overs of work, while Jess Grima (2/19) and Nathan Phillips (2/31) were also impressive.

Mitch Candy (39) was a lone hand for Gembrook as the Brookers were dismissed for just 100 runs.

Kooweerup claimed a massive win as they look to lock in a finals berth, chasing down Merinda Park’s total of 9/211.

The Demons were in strife early, sitting at 3/18. It was Agyapal Sidhu (5/108) who struck early and he would continue to do so throughout the innings.

After the shaky start, a 72-run partnership between Andrew Martin (84) and Nathan Voss (37) steadied the ship for Kooweerup and truly go the innings back on track.

Martin’s knock was one of class and composure, while a fantastic unbeaten half-century from Ron Bright Jr (71 not out) led the Demons home with a total of 8/279.

With Kooweerup’s win and Pakenham’s loss, the Demons (fourth) sit 12 points clear of the Lions (fifth).

After Nyora (277) piled on the runs against ladder-leaders Pakenham Upper/Toomuc on day one, the match ended in a draw due to rain on day two, with no play getting underway.