HUNTLY-North Epsom may be left to rue a disappointing 25 overs with the bat against Strathdale-Maristians on Saturday as it fights to keep its Bendigo District Cricket Association finals hopes alive.
After a brilliant bowling performance to dismiss the Suns for 153 at Poyser Motors Oval, the Power – sitting three points outside the top four – went to stumps at 5-43.
Power captain Linc McRae batted through the 25 overs before stumps and will resume this Saturday 25 not out, but wickets tumbled around him.
Already back in the shed are four of the Power’s five leading run-scorers this season in Ryan Grundy (7), Brodie McRae (0), Josh Collinson (0) and Isaac Hogan (2), while Brett Elvey (3) is also out.
Ben DeAraugo (2-21) and Ryan Haythorpe (2-11) already have two wickets each, while Braden Hocking (1-3) followed up his heroics with the bat with the dismissal of Elvey shortly before stumps.
The Power ending the day on the backfoot was in stark contrast to the position of the game at tea after the Suns’ front-line batsmen capitulated and didn’t fire a shot.
The Suns looked in danger of not even reaching 50 when, in the 12th over, they were reeling at 6-31 after winning the toss and batting on a track that had plenty in it for the Power bowlers.
The Power’s decimation of the top order started on the fourth ball of the match when Cameron Taylor’s run of low scores continued.
Taylor was caught by Brodie McRae for a duck in what was the first of four catches for the wicket-keeper and five wickets for Sam Johnston.
And what followed over the next 47 minutes was a procession of wickets as Jono Davidson (1), Travis King (8), Nick Baker (2), Dom Taylor (1) and Adrian Pappin (11) were all dismissed cheaply.
Matt Rule claimed four of the first six wickets to fall on his way to figures of 4-24 off 15 overs.
The Suns did manage to pass 50, but not long after were again on the back foot at 8-67.
However, Haythorpe (24) and Hocking stemmed the tide for the Suns, surviving the last 34 minutes before tea and advancing the score to 8-101 off 44 overs at the break.
They put on 45 for the ninth wicket, taking the score to 112, before Hocking then shared in a 41-run stand for the last wicket with Jaran McKay (2 n.o.).
The innings ended in the 57th over when Hocking was dismissed for a potential match-saving 65 in what was a valuable time to score his maiden first XI half-century.
Having missed the previous two games with a hamstring injury, Johnston took 5-68 for the Power off 21 overs – his best bowling figures of the season.
By the end of the day’s play, 15 wickets had fallen for 196 runs, while the first five wickets of each team combined for just 56 runs – the Suns having been 5-19 and the Power 5-37.
● Teenager Cameron McGlashan led Eaglehawk’s revival with the bat against Bendigo United at Harry Trott Oval.
A week after being bowled out for 78 by Strathfieldsaye, it looked like being more of the same again for the Hawks when they were 3-17 in the ninth over, with Luke Jones (0), who was dismissed lbw by Marcus Smalley first ball, Anthony West (3) and captain Jason Abbott (9) all out.
However, the Hawks batted with the resolve that was sorely lacking the previous week and finished the day on top at 8-274.
McGlashan, who came in at the fall of the third wicket, batted like a veteran, rather than an 18-year-old, with the only downside of his innings being he just missed a deserving century.
McGlashan scored 91 – his first half-century in the first XI for the Hawks – during a 244-ball stay at the crease in which he hit seven fours and one six.
He shared in key partnerships of 91 for the fourth wicket with Matt White (52 off 92, five fours) and 78 for the sixth wicket with Matt Fitt (54 off 58, five fours, one six).
Smalley’s consistent season continued for the Redbacks as he took 3-57 off 17 overs and ran out Fitt, while inclusion Alex Culvenor (1-27) bowled well with the new ball, with his first seven overs costing just seven runs.
Saturday was the second game in a row the Redbacks haven’t been able to land the knockout blow with the ball after having the opposition on the ropes.
In their past two games the Redbacks have had Eaglehawk (3-17) and Golden Square (4-5) a combined 7-22, but have conceded 509 runs.
● Strathfieldsaye captain Ben Gunn scored his second century of the season in the Jets’ total of 267 against Bendigo at Atkins Street.
After coming in during the 12th over with the score 1-32 following the dismissal of Liam Smith (14 off 48), Gunn scored 105 off 123 balls (10 fours, two sixes) to take his tally of runs for the season to 550.
With Gunn scoring freely and Greg Lyon (39 off 94) and Tim Wood (33 off 39) supporting, the Jets looked on target for a score of at least 320 when they were 4-178 off 46.3 overs at tea.
But the Goers fought back well with the ball, finishing the innings by taking 6-47 and dismissing the Jets in the 74th over.
Brett Andrews produced another marathon bowling spell for the Goers.
After his 38 overs against White Hills last round, Andrews sent down another 31 and took 4-81.
In his first game, Matthew Gray had immediate success in his first over when he dismissed Smith courtesy of a sensational diving catch running with the flight of the ball by Nathan Fitzpatrick.
It was one of three catches by Fitzpatrick for the day and described by one Bendigo supporter as a “catch of the century”.
Veteran Mark Ryan (0-17) only bowled eight overs before leaving the field with a foot injury.
At stumps the Goers were 1-16, with Justin Hargreaves having removed captain Marcus McKern (4) to take his 100th BDCA first XI wicket.
● It was slow going at MyJet Oval as Golden Square made runs hard to come by for Sandhurst.
The Dragons faced 70 overs before they were bowled out for 117 as they scored at a run-rate of 1.6.
Against the disciplined Square bowling, it took the Dragons 31 overs to score their first 50 runs, while by the 50-over mark the score was 5-71.
By the end of the innings Square’s 70 overs included 31 maidens as Scott Johnston (3-27 off 18), James Pietromonaco (2-17 off 11), Luke Baird (2-24 off 10), Darren Clutton (1-13 off 14) and Scott Woodman (0-20 off 12) kept the pressure on.
Captain Nick Scullie (27 off 130) and Steve Becker (27 off 63) were the only players to make more than 20 for the Dragons.
Golden Square openers Harley Dunlop (18 n.o.) and Scott Johnson (9 n.o.) saw their side through to 0-31 off 12 overs at stumps.
● Kangaroo Flat will defend a score of 6-220 against White Hills at Dower Park.
The Roos were under pressure early when they lost openers Mitchell Collins (4) and Josh Newlan (10) inside the first six overs before the score had reached 20.
But the innings was steadied by contributions from Daniel Barber (28), the in-form Brent Hamblin (38), captain Adam Burns (60 n.o.) and Tim Robertson (36).
Burns’ unbeaten 60 was his fifth score above 50 for the season.
Young White Hills bowler Brayden Klemke (3-40) took three of the first four Roos’ wickets to fall, while Nicholas Wharton picked up 2-40 off his 15 overs.
● Meanwhile, the BDCA begins its Melbourne Country Week campaign against defending champions Geelong at Altona today.