MARONG won its first game of the Emu Valley Cricket Association season on Saturday after a comfortable victory over Sedgwick in round four.
Defending its score of 320 at Marong Links Oval, Marong held Sedgwick to just 9-152 off its 75 overs.
The Rams were unable to counter the tight and disciplined bowling from the Panthers, whose 75 overs included 27 maidens.
It was an even bowling performance by Marong, with Duane Anderson (2-10), Richard Murphy (2-14), Jayden Laubsch (2-27) and Dean Cosgriff (2-44) all taking two wickets apiece for the victors.
Sedgwick was in trouble from the outset when it lost openers Ken Gorrie (1) and Daniel Frilay (5) before 20 runs had been scored.
Veteran Scott McKenzie (46) – the only Sedgwick player to have made more than 70 runs for the season so far – and Jordan Ilsely (32) were the only players to score more than 30 for the Rams.
● Spring Gully is now the only side without a win after it was beaten by Mandurang.
The Rangas resumed at 2-35 in reply to the Crows’ 188 and finished at 270.
New captain Warrick Behrens (79), Ben Rodda (58) and former skipper Leigh Haw (54) all made half-centuries for the Rangas.
However, the Mandurang tail didn’t wag like usual.
Having been 4-254 at one stage, the Rangas’ last six wickets fell for just 16 runs, but by then the reigning premiers had another victory safely locked away.
Matthew Hind was the best of the Crows’ bowlers, taking 5-47 off 12 overs, including the wickets of both Behrens and Haw.
● A six-wicket haul from Justin Hancock helped propel Emu Creek to a 48-run win over West Bendigo.
After making 272 last week, Emu Creek restricted the Redbacks to 224.
Hancock picked up 6-46 off 11 overs, sparking a collapse in which the Redbacks fell from a comfortable 1-83 to 6-89 after losing 5-6.
Andrew Sharpe provided some rearguard action for the Redbacks as he made an unbeaten 72 batting at No.9, while earlier, opener Travis O’Connell and No.3 Cameron Holding both made 38.
Emu Creek batted for 12 overs in its second innings, scoring 1-45.
● United all-rounder Alexander Collins picked up his second bag of at least five wickets this season in the Tigers’ 73-run win over Maiden Gully.
Collins took 5-56 off 24 overs as Maiden Gully was bowled out for 167 in reply to the Tigers’ 9-240.
Collins’ haul of wickets came on top of the 6-33 he took against Emu Creek in round two.
Maiden Gully was always going to struggle to get near the Tigers’ total after falling to 4-57.
Among the first four wickets to fall was Maiden Gully batsman Craig Green, who made 14 having scored 100 and 58 in his first two innings this season.
Maiden Gully captain Mark Roberts battled hard for his side, compiling 52.
However, he was the only Maiden Gully player to pass 25.
United will now turn its attention to this Saturday’s top-of-the-ladder clash against Mandurang in the grand final rematch.
● Axe Creek won its second game of the season with a 44-run victory over Golden Gully.
Golden Gully was dismissed for 201 chasing the Cowboys’ 245.
Opener Mark Smith was the mainstay of the Cobras’ innings with his 65, while Noel Shatwell added 43.
Luke Farrington (2-28), Nick Skeen (2-29) and Daniel Saaghy (2-31) took two wickets each for Axe Creek, which claimed the last six Cobras’ wickets for just 46 runs.