UNITED suffered its first loss of the Emu Valley Cricket Association season on Saturday when it was beaten by West Bendigo by 35 runs at Ken Wust Oval.
Chasing the Tigers’ 173, the Redbacks resumed at 1-46 and passed their target seven wickets down, before being bowled out for 208.
Captain Dion Prange led the Redbacks’ successful run-chase as he top-scored with 60 opening and passed 50 for the fourth time this season.
Providing solid support to Prange was No.3 Cameron Holding (49), with the pair putting on 100 for the second wicket.
There were some nervous moments for the Redbacks during their chase, at one stage slumping from 1-105 to 4-105 and later 5-124 when Prange was dismissed.
However, 35 from Joel Purdy in the middle-order helped the Redbacks over the line.
After his whirlwind 111 not out in the Bash For Cash against Strathfieldsaye earlier in the week, there were no repeat fireworks from Matthew Dwyer, who was dismissed for a duck.
Josh Filo (4-34 off seven overs) took the bowling honours for United, which batted 36 overs in its second innings for a score of 3-110.
Filo’s four wickets were all batsmen in the Redbacks’ top five.
The win has all but locked up a finals berth for West Bendigo with one round remaining.
● Marong blew its chance of keeping in touch with the top four after it was unable to defend its score of 219 against Golden Gully.
The Cobras replied with 283 to win their third game of the season.
The Panthers looked to have control of the game when the Cobras were 7-171.
However, a 100-run partnership for the eighth wicket between John Nevill (58) and Josh Hutchinson (43) lifted the Cobras to victory.
Also playing a crucial role with the bat was No.3 Paul Barber, who scored 82.
The win continued the Cobras good form with the bat, with Golden Gully having scored more than 230 in each of its past three games.
Marong’s Jeremy Ross was his usual economical self, sending down 22 overs, including nine maidens, and taking 3-46.
The only other multiple wicket-taker for the Panthers was Andrew Gladstone (2-9), who was the ninth of the 10 bowlers used.
● Mandurang captain Warrick Behrens took a hat-trick in his side’s 109-run win over Maiden Gully.
After making 294 last week, the Rangas dismissed Maiden Gully for 185, with Behrens claiming 5-15 off 7.4 overs after coming on as the eighth bowler used.
Behrens’ spell included the wickets of Jason Lee (44, bowled), Tim Chisholm (0, caught Leigh Haw) and Glenn McCoomb (0, bowled) in consecutive deliveries.
Rob Binks top-scored with 45 for Maiden Gully, which lost its fifth game in a row.
The Rangas scored a quickfire 1-63 off 10 overs in their second innings.
● A six-wicket haul by Damien Dunlop spearheaded Spring Gully to a 174-run belting of Axe Creek.
Dunlop bagged 6-31 off 12 overs as the Cowboys were bowled out for 122 in reply to the Crows’ 296.
Dunlop bowled five of his victims during the Cowboys’ innings that lasted just 40 overs.
The Cowboys’ top-order offered no resistance, with the side losing its first four wickets for 19 runs.
Only Ross Brown (22) made more than 20 for Axe Creek.
● Emu Creek returned to the winner’s list with a 117-run victory over Sedgwick.
The Rams could muster just 129 chasing the Emus’ 246.
Sedgwick’s hopes of winning were dashed when it lost 4-6 mid-innings, falling from 2-67 to 6-73.
Veteran Scott McKenzie (47 n.o.) battled hard against the odds, while David Thompson (4-24) and Khan Birtles (3-24) combined for seven wickets for Emu Creek, which was 1-142 off 20 overs in its second innings at stumps.