FOR the second time in as many rounds, Huntly-North Bendigo has defeated Golden Square in a Bendigo District Cricket Association cliff-hanger.
The Power passed Golden Square’s 178 nine wickets down on Saturday at MyJet Oval, before being bowled out for 208.
Saturday’s win followed the Power beating Golden Square by one run in their one-day match the previous round.
Momentum fluctuated between the two teams all day, but in the end, the result hinged on the 10th wicket partnership between the Power’s Matt Rule and youngster Billy Evans.
After losing 3-1 to fall from 6-168 to 9-169, Evans and Rule needed to score 10 runs to win the game.
In what was a tense four overs, the pair survived several lbw shouts in scoring the 10 runs needed for victory, before going on to put on 39 for the last wicket.
Rule finished 14 not out and Evans, in just his third first XI innings, made 13.
Brannon Stanford top-scored for the Power, making 45 off 87.
Stanford was one of the three quick wickets to fall – along with Harry Whittle (4) and Brett Elvey (0) – that left the game on a knife-edge as No.11 Evans joined Rule at the crease.
The Power also had solid contributions from the consistent Brodie McRae (41 off 124) and Josh Collinson (37 off 69).
It was a crucial victory for the Power, who had they lost would have slipped 12 points outside the top four.
Veteran Scott Johnson did his best to get Golden Square over the line.
Johnson claimed 3-30 off 17 overs, ran out Chris Guinane (5) and also took a catch.
With his 53 last week, he was also the only player in the game to make a half-century.
Darren Clutton (2-39) and Luke Baird (2-30), who ran out Power captain Linc McRae (3) with a fine piece of fielding in the second over, took two wickets each for Golden Square.
● Kangaroo Flat fell 28 runs short against Bendigo United at Harry Trott Oval after a spirited fightback led by captain Adam Burns.
Chasing the Redbacks’ 245, the game looked as good as over when the Roos, who had resumed the day at 2-21, fell to 8-123.
But Burns, coming off four-consecutive single figure scores, had other ideas.
Batting at No.9, Burns took the attack to the Redbacks’ bowlers in making 91.
Burns faced just 105 balls and belted seven fours and two sixes as he, along with support from Daniel Plowright (5) and Chris Barber (6 n.o.), edged the Roos in sight of their target.
However, the Roos’ innings ended on 217 when Burns – who took 6-44 last week – was caught by ‘keeper Harry Donegan off the bowling of Miggy Podosky.
The Roos’ Brent Hamblin continued on his solid Twenty20 batting form by making 49 off 97 (six fours).
The match will be remembered as one dominated by the tail-enders.
While Kangaroo Flat’s last two wickets combined for 94 runs, the previous week Nick Crawford and Miggy Podosky shared in a match-winning 10th wicket partnership of 106 for the Redbacks.
Podosky followed up his 43 not out last week with a bag of 5-54 off 20 overs – his second haul of five or more wickets against the Roos in as many seasons.
● Shane Robinson scored his maiden first XI century for Sandhurst as the Dragons defeated Bendigo by 93 runs.
Having made 91 against Bendigo last round, Robinson again feasted on the Goers’ bowlers, scoring 123.
Robinson’s century led the Dragons to 301 in reply to Bendigo’s 9-208 at J.L. King Weeroona Oval.
The win was the Dragons’ third of the season, but there were some tense moments during their innings after a middle-order collapse.
Sandhurst looked to have the game well in hand when they were comfortably placed at 2-133 in the 33rd over.
However, over the next 26 overs the Goers hit back superbly with the ball, capturing 5-36 as the Dragons fell to 7-169.
With the game back on an even keel, the Goers were unable to deliver the knockout blow as Robinson and Alex Winfield (17) ensured Sandhurst passed its target seven wickets down in the 74th over.
While Robinson was the star for the Dragons, Dylan Gibson, who survived a confident caught behind shout on zero, returned to form, making 50 off 58 (seven fours).
Alex Pearson (2-27), Mark Ryan (2-44) and James Halliday (2-98) all took two wickets for the Goers, while wicket-keeper Liam Gaskell had a good day behind the stumps with four catches.
● It was a dismal day with the bat for White Hills against Eaglehawk as the Hawks won by 213 runs.
The Demons’ innings lasted until just 4pm as they were bowled out for 109 in reply to Eaglehawk’s 9-322 at Canterbury Park.
The writing was on the wall for the Demons from the opening over.
With just the first five balls of the day bowled by Richard Tibbett (2-29), the Hawks had already dismissed Lincoln Jacobs (0) and dangerman Gavin Bowles (0), and when Brayden Stepien (2) was run out in the fourth over, the Demons were 3-5.
The final scorecard was horror reading for White Hills, with only Sam Stagg (45 off 106), captain Aaron Monro (29 off 70) and Daniel Larke (19 off 44) making more than five, while five players were dismissed for ducks.
Shane Herdman ripped through the Demons’ tail, picking up 3-5 off two overs, while Shane Taylor (3-18) also took three wickets for the Hawks, who have moved up to second on the ladder.
Eaglehawk was 3-56 off 14 overs in its second innings. Travis Colley took 2-10 for the Demons to finish the match with seven wickets.
● Strathfieldsaye lost its fifth game in a row after being bowled out for 199 in reply to Strathdale-Maristians’ 6-331 at Bell Oval.
The Jets had been 7-113, but lower-order players Hamish Schumacher (39 off 101) and Andrew Stove (31 off 45) frustrated the Suns as the last three wickets combined for 86 runs.
Earlier, captain Ben Gunn made a blazing start for the Jets, scoring 69 off 82 balls (nine fours) before he was the second wicket to fall in the 28th over with the score on 86.
But yet again there wasn’t enough out of the Jets’ key batsmen as five of the top seven were dismissed for single figures.
Suns’ all-rounder Cameron Taylor followed up his 127 last week with 3-84 and the run out of the unlucky Greg Lyon (6) at the non-strikers end following a deflection off a Tim Wood (15) drive.
Suns’ paceman Ben DeAraugo (3-37) also took three wickets.