WHAT started as a disaster with the bat ended in a superb revival by Golden Square in its Bendigo District Cricket Association clash against Bendigo United on Saturday.
Having won the toss and elected to bat at Harry Trott Oval, Golden Square’s innings looked like it would be lucky to last until tea after its top-order capitulated against Redbacks’ bowlers Marcus Smalley and Miggy Podsoky.
Golden Square lost its first four wickets for just five runs, with Harley Dunlop (1), Max Grant (2), Scott Johnson (0) and Jason Johnson (0) the early victims.
But from 4-5, Golden Square showed tremendous resilience to survive its 85 overs and post 9-235, which included an unbroken 10th wicket partnership of 63 between Scott Woodman (48 n.o.) and James Pietromonaco (14 n.o.).
Early on, though, Golden Square found it near impossible to score against Smalley and Podosky.
It took Golden Square 18 overs for its score to reach double figures, during which Bendigo United had bowled 11 maidens, while at one stage Square scored just one run between the fourth and 15th overs.
During the initial onslaught Smalley had figures of 3-4 off seven overs, while Podosky conceded just one run off his first seven overs.
While a scoreline of 4-5 may indicate a procession of quick wickets, it took the Redbacks 13 overs to get them, with the four batsmen dismissed early facing a combined 60 balls for the three runs they made between them.
The Square revival was led by captain Grant Connelly and John Lalor, who stemmed the tide and put on 109 for the fifth wicket.
For the second game in row, Connelly top-scored for Golden Square, making 75 off 134 balls (five fours, one six).
Lalor scored a valuable 44 off 110, also hitting five boundaries and a six.
As well as the Lalor-Connelly stand, the other key partnership of the innings was that of Woodman and Pietromonaco, who came together with the score 8-172 in the 73rd over.
And the tail-enders defied the Redbacks for the remaining 12 overs as they added 63 more runs to ensure Golden Square will take the momentum into this Saturday’s resumption of play.
Smalley finished with 4-43 off 23 overs for the Redbacks, while spinner Nick Crawford took 3-70 and Podosky ended the day with 1-56 off 17 overs.
Heath Behrens had a good day in the field, taking three catches.
● Two wickets before stumps has given Strathfieldsaye hope of upsetting Eaglehawk at Canterbury Park.
After being bowled out for 192, the Jets had 11 overs at the Hawks before stumps, with Ben Devanny (2-5) picking up the key wickets of captain Jason Abbott (2) and the in-form Anthony West (0).
The Hawks will resume at 2-13 this Saturday, with Matt Fitt (4 n.o.) and Matt White (0 n.o.) at the crease.
Eaglehawk paceman Richard Tibbett put the Hawks in control early in the day when he picked up three quick wickets to leave the Jets 3-21 in the 11th over.
Among those early wickets were the key scalps of captain Ben Gunn (4) and Greg Lyon (1).
Opener Liam Smith worked hard to bat the Jets out of trouble, spending 49 overs at the crease in making 65 off 133 (nine fours), before he was also a victim of Tibbett.
Smith’s innings included partnerships of 47 with Tim Wood (29 off 31, five fours) and 63 with Ben Devanny (26).
Tibbett ended with figures of 4-65 off 18 overs, while Andrew Smith’s consistent season continued as the veteran took 3-38 off 13 overs.
Wicket-keeper Fitt claimed four catches for the Hawks.
● Bendigo kept the clamps on White Hills for most of the Demons’ innings at Integrating Technology Oval.
The Demons crawled their way to 8-182 against a Bendigo side that flew through its overs, having already bowled 53 at the tea-break.
Brett Andrews sent down a marathon 38 overs for the Goers, bowling from the Huntly end for the rest of the day after he was introduced in the 10th over.
Andrews’ disciplined line and length netted 5-59, while his 38 overs included 18 maidens.
As a team, the Goers bowled 30 maidens in their 85 overs.
It was slow going from the outset for the Demons, who scored just 34 runs off the first 20 overs.
As well as Andrews’ five wickets, the other standout for Bendigo was youngster Nathan Fitzpatrick.
Fitzpatrick took three catches and also run out Brayden Stepien (22) with a direct hit.
Daniel Larke (53) batted well for the Demons after coming in with the score at 3-67, while in his debut first XI innings for White Hills, Jordan Lea made an unbeaten 25.
The Demons also got contributions from openers Aaron Monro (27 off 55) and Lincoln Jacobs (32 off 100).
● Strathdale-Maristians are well on the way to beating Kangaroo Flat at Bell Oval.
The Roos were bowled out for 145 in the 60th over.
Given the opportunity to take the new ball in the absence of Ben DeAraugo, Jaran McKay (3-30) capitalised, taking the first three Roos’ wickets to fall before the score had reached 30.
By the 25th over the Roos had slumped to 5-64 as the Suns were in complete control.
Brent Hamblin (46 off 91, seven fours) and Lachlan Shelton (21 off 33) put on 35 for the sixth wicket, but they were the only two batsmen to pass 20 for the Ross.
As well as McKay’s three-for, Adrian Pappin (2-15) – who picked up the key wicket of Roos’ captain Adam Burns (18) – Cameron Taylor (2-25) and Craig Howard (2-17) took two wickets apiece for the Suns.
The Suns went to stumps at 1-75 off 32 overs, with dour opener Travis King (37 n.o.) and Jono Davidson (18 n.o.) surviving.
Cameron Taylor (16) is the batsman out, but at least the out-of-form opener got to double figures this innings.