IT has taken more than 20 years and almost 200 games, but Strathfieldsaye’s Greg Lyon has finally broken through for his first Bendigo District Cricket Association century.
In what was his 197th first XI game for Strathfieldsaye on Saturday, Lyon scored 102 not out as the Jets defeated White Hills to end their six-game losing streak.
Lyon – who first played for the Jets in the 1988-89 season – was the backbone of the Strathfieldsaye innings as it shrugged off its recent struggles with the bat to compile 3-222 off its 45 overs batting first at Tannery Lane.
The Jets had made a habit in recent games of losing multiple wickets in quick succession.
But there were no such problems on Saturday as Lyon and Ben Devanny (50) put on 117 for the first wicket.
Lyon then teamed with captain Ben Gunn (44) for a 61-run partnership for the second wicket.
Lyon batted through the entire innings, bringing up his century off the second-last ball of the final over when he hit Rhys Irwin (0-63) for a mid-wicket boundary.
Before Saturday’s long-awaited ton, 41-year-old Lyon’s previous best score for the Jets had been 94.
In reply, the Demons fell 40 runs short as they were bowled out for 182.
In his final hit of the season before travelling overseas, Gavin Bowles top-scored with 60 for the Demons and captain Aaron Monro made 45 opening.
Monro and David Blume (21) had given the Demons a strong start with a 71-run stand for the first wicket, before White Hills crumbled.
Spinner Andrew Stove took 3-39 off nine overs, while wicket-keeper Lyon capped a memorable day by bowling one over and taking 1-0, dismissing Nicholas Wharton (2).
● Kangaroo Flat ended its run of six losses in a row with a three-wicket win over Sandhurst at Dower Park.
Not having won since round one, the Roos answered Sandhurst’s 9-172 with 7-173.
The Dragons struggled to gather momentum during their innings after losing their first four wickets for 48 runs.
They had also been 7-124, before Steve Becker (16) and Nick Scullie put on 30 for the eighth wicket to help lift the total to 172.
After making three single-figure scores in his previous three innings, Scullie scored 55 not out, while the only other Dragons batsman to pass 20 was Leon Beatty (25).
Having been one of the form batsmen of the BDCA a month ago, the Roos dismissed Andrew Bourne for a duck for the second game in a row.
Shane Harling (3-23) and captain Adam Burns (3-24) bowled superbly for the Roos to combine for 6-47 off their 18 overs.
The Roos’ successful run-chase was led by Brent Hamblin, who made the most of the chance to open the innings.
Hamblin recorded his maiden BDCA first XI half-century with his 72, before he was dismissed with the Roos just three runs from victory.
Hamblin received solid support through the innings from Lachlan Shelton (34) and Burns (33).
In his first game back in the first XI for Sandhurst, Becker returned the fine figures of 3-16 off eight overs.
● Golden Square ended its three-game form slump with a two-wicket win over Eaglehawk.
After winning the toss and batting, the Hawks were restricted to 7-157 in a batting performance that had plenty of starts, but not enough players go on with it.
In his 200th BDCA game, Shane Taylor was the only Hawk to make more than 20 as he scored an unbeaten 53 to lift his batting average to 65.
Saturday was Taylor’s first half-century for the Hawks since joining them from White Hills in the 2006-07 season.
Taylor and second-gamer Coby Hansen (15 n.o.) put on an unbroken 71 for the eighth wicket after the Hawks had been 7-86.
Scott Woodman (2-19) was the only multiple wicket-taker for Golden Square, which answered with 8-158.
Just like the Eaglehawk innings, the Square players, apart from Scott Trollope (60), struggled to cash in on their starts
Square appeared to have the game well in hand at 3-123, but then looked like blowing its strong position after losing 5-19 to crash to 8-142.
But Jake Higgins (12 n.o.) and Darren Clutton (8 n.o.) safely guided Square over the line and to a 10-point buffer inside the top four at the mid-season break.
Stand-in captain Cory Jacobs battled hard for his side to take 4-33 – the only player in the game to take more than two wickets.
● Bendigo United cruised into second position with a seven-wicket win over Huntly-North Epsom at Poyser Motors Oval.
The Power’s innings lasted just 36 overs before they were bowled out for 102, with only Brodie McRae (23) and Ryan Grundy (20) getting to 20.
Off-spinner Nick Crawford produced his best bowling performance of the season to take 3-16 off nine overs for the Redbacks.
It took Bendigo United just 23 overs to reach 3-104, with opener Matt Pinniger scoring 49 in the Redbacks’ seventh win in a row.