It is effectively a three-way battle for top position on the “A” grade Bairnsdale Cricket Association ladder after four rounds.
Orbost and Lindenow South Glenaladale are undefeated with three wins and a washout, which happened to be between the two teams in round one with the Glen Swamps poised to claim victory before rain ended play.
West Bairnsdale is third with one loss to its name, beaten by a solitary run by the Glen Swamps.
Reigning premier, Wy Yung, rounds out the top four, a first innings win clear of Lakes Entrance.
TIGERS HOLD ON
In the match of the round played before a good crowd, the reigning premiers held their nerve to defeat a determined St Mary’s Nagle by 12 runs at Tigerland. After a slow start to the season the
Saints are slowly starting too put together some good form, however were unable to capture the victory this time around, not taking anything away from Wy Yung who did enough all day too hang onto an important win.
The Saints won the toss and elected to send the Tigers in and the early wicket of Nick Carroll was important. Daniel Gledhill (22) and Todd Murray (23) steadied things before a superb knock from Ben Saxon (75) really got Wy Yung’s run rate flowing during the all-important middle overs.
Wy Yung proceeded to make 6/170 from its allotted 40 overs. The Saints bowlers shared the wickets with five players taking one each.
St Mary’s Nagle got off to a shaky start losing both openers, Joel Linford and Nathan Pruscino, cheaply with Darcy Murray proving a winner with the new ball. Young gun Brayden McCarrey (47) then put on a disciplined knock knowing when too attack and when to consolidate before being caught.
The game was in the balance. It was during the crucial 25-30 over period where Wy Yung was able to slow the run rate as the Saints ended up falling just short scoring 9/158 off their 40 overs. McCarrey, Randall Stewart (26) and Ricky Tatnell (33) were St Mary’s Nagle’s the best with the bat, while for Wy Yung Stevie Bertino (4/32) and Darcy Murray (2/23) played their role in a balanced team effort.
Lakes Entrance put up a decent fight at Lindenow South, however the Glen Swamps’ deep batting list showed no mercy on anything remotely loose, chasing down a target of 170 with five overs to spare at Lindenow
South. Winning the toss and batting, Lakes lost Ryan Hooper early on, however rebuilt through Leigh Walker (34) and Jake Le Maitre (33), who put on 62 for the second wicket.
At 2/86 the Seagulls attempted to lift the run rate and white wickets continued to fall, contributions from Ben John (17), Jacob Brewer (18) and Brant Duncan (15no) lifted their side to a respectable 7/170 on what proved to be a slow outfield.
Off spinner Nathan Pollard cashed in as the Lakes batsmen freed their arms, taking 5/41 in the back of the innings.
The Glen Swamps, despite a first over maximum from Matt Baylis, started relatively slowly, losing Scott Davidson without scoring in the third over before Scott Dare was trapped in front for 16 by youngster, Noah Dodd.
Despite a near run out of Haydn Erfurth, the Glen Swamps were rarely threatened thereafter.
Baylis (63) crunched three sixes and four boundaries while Erfurth was ultra impressive, particularly when the game was in the balance, smashing four sixes and three boundaries during his unbeaten 74.
WEST KEEPS WINNING
On a grassy wicket and lush outfield at Bairnsdale City Oval, Meerlieu had early success taking the valuable wickets of Brodie Anderson for a duck and Liam Giove for three before the experienced pair of David Wolfe (39) and Ray Stevens (75) steadied the ship. Once consolidated, some lusty hitting produced four sixes in the middle overs as West upped the ante. When Wolfe was dismissed, Ryan Halford (29) helped Stevens push West’s total along to 6/186. Dan Richardson was the Tussocks’ best taking three wickets. Meerlieu wasn’t ever able to get a sound partnership going with West taking regular wicket throughout the Tussocks’ 40 overs. Seven batsmen reached double figures with no one really putting together the big innings needed.
When Matt Kell was run out and the Tussocks lost 3/0, the game was all but over. Mick Preston (27) and Richardson (23) did their best while for West, Brad Daniel, with 3/26, and Jacob Zumach and Halford with two wickets each, were the best bowlers.
Orbost made it three successive wins on Saturday, easily accounting for Lucknow by 72 runs at Orbost.
Yet again the Blues were superbly led at the top of the order by youngster Curtley Farley, who scored his second half century in a row.
Farley found the boundary with ease (three fours and four sixes) during his 55, helping set up the total of 6/192 thanks in large to a 86-run second wicket stand with Alex Hulme, who also scored his second half century of the season with 52.
Max Welsh also chimed in with 32 as Orbost took Lucknow’s bowlers to the sword.
Dave Kinsey and Jarryd Floyd each took two wickets for the Magpies.
Lucknow struggled too put together the partnership needed to make a serious push too reach Orbost’s imposing total with only Daniel Bryant (31) and Beau Haslam (21) getting starts.
With two run outs late in the innings Lucknow finished all out for 121 after 35.2 overs.
Off spinner Lachie Donchi was a standout with the ball taking 4/26, while Cooper Vickery claimed 2/29 as the Blues continually build their season ahead of the two-day rounds.
“A” grade - round 5 (two-day):
Lakes Entrance v West Bairnsdale (Ron Smith, Peter Usher); St Mary’s Nagle v Lucknow (Eric Jamieson, Mal Leys); Meerlieu v Lindenow South Glenaladale (Don Haley, West Bairnsdale club umpire); Wy Yung v Orbost (Stephen Gibbons, Lucknow club umpire).
“B” grade - round 5: Bruthen v Paynesville; Orbost v West Bairnsdale Gold; St Mary’s Nagle v Wy Yung; West Bairnsdale Green v Lakes Entrance; Lindenow South Glenaladale v Lucknow.
“C” grade - round 5: Buchan v Bruthen; Lakes Entrance v Lindenow; Meerlieu v Paynesville White; Paynesville Blue v Lucknow; St Mary’s Nagle v Wy Yung.
Under 16 - round 5: Bruthen v St Mary’s Nagle; Lindenow v Lindenow South Glenaladale; Lucknow v Orbost; Paynesville v West Bairnsdale; Wy Yung v Lakes Entrance.
Under 13 - round 5: Bruthen v St Mary’s Nagle Blue; Lucknow v Tussocks 754; Meerlieu v Metung Swan Reach; Orbost White v Lindenow South Glenaladale; St Mary’s Nagle Gold v Paynesville; West Bairnsdale v Lucknow Magpies; Wy Yung v Orbost Blue.
IMAGE: Lindenow South Glenaladale’s Haydn Erfurth scored an impressive half century as his side defeated Lakes Entrance by six wickets at Lindenow South during round four of Bairnsdale Cricket Association’s “A” grade season last Saturday. (PS)