GISBORNE has given itself a great chance of qualifying for the division one grand final at Bendigo Country Week after it defeated Ferntree Gully in a thrilling finish yesterday.
Ferntree Gully, coming off an upset win over reigning premier Murray Valley on day one, went into the game at Harry Trott Oval as favourite.
That favouritism tag looked well-earned when Gisborne fell to 4-25 and then 8-167 in reply to Ferntree Gully’s total of 7-220.
However, Gisborne skipper Warren Else and tailender Heath Boffey rescued Gisborne with a stunning ninth wicket partnership.
Else (45 not out) and Boffey (23 not out) added an unbeaten 58 for the ninth wicket to see Gisborne home by just five runs.
Earlier, Daniel Fisk rescued Gisborne with a magnificent 90. The right-hander made hsi way to the crease with the score 3-24 before blasting 90 of the next 142 runs to be scored.
Opening bowler Cameron Wheeler was superb for Ferntree Gully, claiming 5-48. The highlights of Ferntree Gully’s innings were half-centuries to Josh Henry (65 not out) and in-form opener Jayden Bradbury (57).
With two wins from two games, and a match to come today agains struggling Benalla, Gisborne is well-placed to make Friday’s final.
Goulburn Murray is the only other unbeaten side after it defeated Castlemaine by 51 runs yesterday.
Goulburn Murray’s bowlers did the damage, restricting Castlemaine to 145.
Skipper Dylan Cuttriss ripped through the top-order, taking 3-23.
Ian Garsed (67) was the only Castlemaine batsman to get on top of the GM attack.
In reply, opening batsman Brendan Prendergast (53) scored his second-straight half-century to set up GM’s total of 7-196.
Murray Valley gave rivals a reminder of just how powerful it can be by thrashing Benalla by 192 runs at Eaglehawk.
Skipper Shaun Downie (144) and Luke Carter (111) put on 222 for the third wicket as Murray Valley made 7-346 off 50 overs.
Benalla batted out its 50 overs, making 4-154, with Andrew Starting top-scoring with 56 and Jack Egan adding an unbeaten 47.
Murray Valley’s grand final hopes go on the line today when it faces Goulburn Murray at Bell Oval in Strathdale.