WHITE Hills’ batsmen snuffed out Huntly-North Epsom’s finals chances on Saturday by batting all 85 overs on day one of their round 14 Bendigo District Cricket Association clash.
To have any chance of climbing from fifth into the top four, the Power must beat White Hills outright at Integrating Technology Oval, and predictably sent the Demons in.
But the Demons stalled the Power’s outright bid by batting all day in making 8-183.
No batsman made more than 30 for the Demons, with Daniel Larke (29), Adrian Holland (28) and Brayden Stepien (27) – who earlier in the day made his third under-17 century of the season – the leading run-scorers.
Larke’s 29 took him past Gavin Bowles – who hasn’t played since the mid-season break – as the Demons’ leading run-scorer this summer with 325.
The Demons’ innings started poorly when captain Aaron Monro (1) was dismissed in the third over with the score on four, but ended with an unbroken stand of 41 for the ninth wicket between Nicholas Wharton (26 n.o.) and Justin Slattery (15 n.o.).
Sam Johnston’s 3-71 off 30 overs took his tally of wickets for the season to 36 for the Power, while Brett Elvey dried the runs up.
Elvey conceded just 28 runs off his 25 overs and also picked up the top-order wickets of Rhys Irwin (16) and Sam Stagg (9).
● Some rearguard action from the tail lifted Golden Square to a score of 192 against Strathdale-Maristians at Bell Oval.
Square had been 8-129 in the 61st over, before Luke Baird and Darren Clutton put on 56 for the ninth wicket.
Clutton made his highest BDCA first XI score of 39 (50 balls, five fours, one six), while Baird finished unbeaten on 18 off 53 balls.
Baird and Clutton were two of just five batsmen to make double figures for Square, which was rocked early by a brilliant spell from Suns’ paceman Ben DeAraugo.
DeAraugo took the first four wickets for the Suns as Square fell to 4-53 in the 19th over.
At that stage DeAraugo, who used the short ball well, had figures of 4-21 in his 10th over, before finishing with 4-33 off 16.
DeAraugo now has 42 wickets – the first time he has passed the 40-wicket mark in his 13 seasons in the first XI.
Square opener Scott Johnson survived the early onslaught from the Suns to make 58 (156 balls, eight fours), batting until the 56th over when he was the seventh wicket to fall with the score on 127.
It was Johnson’s sixth score above 50 for the season, and his first in his past seven innings’ against the Suns.
Johnson and teenager Jake Higgins (30 off 108) put on 65 for the fifth wicket in the best partnership of the innings.
As well as DeAraugo’s four-for, Craig Howard claimed 3-29 off 14 overs for the Suns, who had six overs to bat before stumps and reached 0-11, with Travis King (7 n.o.) and Cameron Taylor (4 n.o.) surviving the testing period.
● Kangaroo Flat recovered from a horror start to post 199 against Strathfieldsaye at Tannery Lane.
The Roos were on the ropes early at 3-14 in the 11th over, with Justin Hargreaves having dismissed Daniel Barber (3), Mitchell Collins (7) and Lachlan Shelton (3).
Enter Chris Barber, who again lived up to his new all-rounder status with his second half-century in a row.
Barber scored 57 (five fours) to follow on from his unbeaten 61 in the second innings against White Hills the previous week.
Barber, 18, has made the most of his elevation up the order over the past fortnight, with his 118 runs in his past two hits coming on the back of scoring 64 runs in his first 17 first XI innings.
Also helping to rescue the Roos was the in-form Brent Hamblin (35), who put on 58 for the fourth wicket with Barber.
After their disastrous start, the Roos were later 6-109, before the last four wickets combined to put on 90, with captain Adam Burns scoring 37.
Teenager Ben Michell made 14 on debut, while Travis Harling, playing his first game in the first XI for four years, made 11.
Hargreaves finished with 3-27 for the Jets and Andrew Stove (3-57) also took three wickets.
Tim Wood (0-3) enjoyed a rare bowl, sending down three overs of off-spin, including one maiden.
Saturday was the last time veteran Greg Lyon will wicket-keep for the Jets.
Lyon will play on, but relinquish the keeping duties next season.
His last catch was the dismissal of Daniel Barber off Hargreaves.
● Bendigo United scored 7-259 in its John Turner Memorial Cup game against Sandhurst at a lush Queen Elizabeth Oval.
Opener Matt Pinniger led the way for the Redbacks with 89 – the only first XI score above 60 on Saturday.
Pinniger’s 89 came off 166 balls and included five boundaries and two sixes, while across town at Harry Trott Oval, his older brother, Chris, scorched the Dragons’ second XI for an unbeaten 179.
Nick Crawford (55 n.o. off 124) also passed 50 for the Redbacks, who had been in a strong position at tea at 1-102 off 42 overs.
Heath Behrens had a rare “failure” against Sandhurst when he was dismissed for 49, well below his average of 72.2 in his previous 10 innings against the Dragons.
Captain Leigh McDermott chipped in with 33 off 57 (three fours), putting on 75 for the fourth wicket with Crawford after the dismissal of Pinniger by Quinton Bentley (1-28) in the 53rd over.
Stephen Becker was the only multiple wicket-taker for the Dragons, claiming 4-56 off 20 overs.
● Eaglehawk posted 9-269 against Bendigo at Canterbury Park after being sent into bat.
The Hawks got off to a solid start with captain Jason Abbott (32) and Luke Jones (48) putting on 49 for the first wicket.
The Hawks were later 5-129, but the lower order batted well to add 140 more runs, led by 56 from Andrew Smith – his fourth score above 50 for the season.
Smith and Matt Fitt (28) put on 77 for the sixth wicket, while Cory Jacobs added a valuable 26 n.o.
Bendigo mixed its bowlers up, having already used eight by the 46-over mark.
The wily Brett Andrews’ solid form with the ball continued as he took 2-50 off 27 overs.
Andrews was difficult to score off early, with his first 20 overs costing just 17 runs.