A 188-run partnership between Jayde Mullane and Alexander Collins against Spring Gully ensured United maintained its unbeaten record in the Emu Valley Cricket Association on Saturday.
Chasing Spring Gully’s 262 at Ewing Park, the Tigers were on the ropes at 4-92.
However, Mullane and Collins batted superbly together as they guided the Tigers to 5-280 to end what had been a string of three losses in a row against the Crows.
Mullane opened the Tigers’ innings, which began late last week, and batted through until he was dismissed in the 80th over for 119.
Mullane’s knock continued on from his good form the previous round against Sedgwick when he made 76 not out.
Collins – who took 5-98 in the Spring Gully innings – finished just short of what would have been his second century of the season as he ended the day 92 not out to again lift his season average above 50.
Earlier, among the first four wickets to fall for the Tigers was captain Forbes Klemm for a duck.
Having made five consecutive scores above 50 in his first five innings of the season, Klemm has now been dismissed for back-to-back ducks.
After winning its past two games, Saturday’s loss has halted Spring Gully’s momentum and ended its slim hopes of a surge towards another finals appearance.
Peter Stepien (2-66) was the Crows’ only multiple wicket-taker.
● Marong kept in touch with the top four after a dominant performance with the ball against Emu Creek.
After making 229 last week, the Panthers bundled the second-placed Emu Creek out for just 96 in 56 overs.
Jayden Laubsch claimed 3-12 off eight overs for the Panthers, with his wickets including Emu Creek opener Brad Rowe (28) and captain Daniel Chamberlain (3).
Having been 2-44 at one stage, the Emu Creek innings went off the rails when it lost Tim Hobbs (14), Simon Marwood (1) and Chamberlain in the space of just four runs, leaving the side 5-48.
The Panthers were 1-69 in their second innings.
● West Bendigo maintained its position in the top four with a 52-run victory over Maiden Gully.
The Redbacks answered Maiden Gully’s 162 with 9-214.
Maiden Gully gave itself a chance when it had the Redbacks 4-59, but West Bendigo’s middle-order got the side back on track, led by Bradley McHugh (35), Andrew Sharpe (25), Josh Kinsman (22) and Joel Purdy (18).
The Redbacks also had No.4 Jason McDonald top-score with 49 in what was their fifth win of the season.
Captain Mark Roberts (3-28) was the best of the bowlers for Maiden Gully, which has lost four in a row.
● Golden Gully made 233 against Mandurang, but still fell well short of the reigning premiers’ 370 at Tannery Lane.
The Cobras looked like getting nowhere near a score of 233 early when their top three batsmen, Jeremy Rogerson (3), Paul Barber (0) and Shaun O’Shea (9), were all dismissed for single figures.
However, the Cobras dug in and showed some fight.
After his 81 n.o. last round, Leigh Penrose was again the mainstay of the Golden Gully innings, making 90 at No.7, while Will Horan scored 46.
Mandurang’s Michael Healy produced his best performance of the season with 4-47 off 17 overs.
Golden Gully had a nine-over second innings, scoring 5-61.
● Sedgwick defeated Axe Creek by 66 runs.
The Cowboys were bowled out for 163 in reply to the Rams’ 9-229.
Axe Creek had been reasonably placed in its innings at 2-78, before losing its last eight wickets for 85 runs as the Cowboys slumped to their fifth loss in a row.
Ross Brown (43) and Anthony Rogers (39) put on 65 for the third wicket for the Cowboys after they had been 2-13 early.
Craig Lock claimed 3-13 off eight overs for the Rams, who were 3-77 in their second innings.
● Meanwhile, round one of the EVCA’s Bash for Cash will be played tomorrow night. Games are:
Mandurang v West Bendigo; Golden Gully v Strathfieldsaye; Marong v United; Maiden Gully v Kangaroo Flat, Emu Creek v Axe Creek; Spring Gully v Sedgwick.