FOR the second game in a row, Bendigo has beaten a Bendigo District Cricket Association top-four opponent in a thriller.
After upsetting Bendigo United last round, this time it was White Hills at KWD Oval on Saturday as the Goers and Demons played out a classic contest for their fourth meeting in a row.
Chasing White Hills' 9-186, the Goers scraped home with four balls to spare, winning nine wickets down before they were bowled out for 189.
The winning runs were hit by No.11 Tom Kirk (5) off Rhys Irwin in the last over.
Kirk joined Liam Gaskell at the crease with the Goers 9-177 and still 10 runs from victory.
However, in a tense 21 minutes, the pair edged the Goers closer to their target, with the duo surviving several lbw appeals and a dropped chance to get their side over the line.
While Kirk hit the winning runs, for the second game in a row Gaskell (19 n.o. off 81) played a fine innings under pressure for the Goers.
Batting at No.8, Gaskell remained the major stumbling block for the Demons as they fought back brilliantly with the ball when the Goers fell from 6-171 to 9-177.
Earlier, the Goers had been on track to coast to what should have been a comfortable victory when they were 5-143 in the 48th over.
However, the Demons through the lion-hearted Irwin - who bowled 29.4 overs - and Gareth Davies tightened the screws as it took Bendigo 37 overs to score the last 44 runs it needed for victory.
Opener Kyle Chant (43 off 125, seven fours) top-scored for the Goers.
Captain Mark Ryan (42 off 117, one four) and Marcus McKern (33 off 40, four fours) were the next best of the batsmen for Bendigo, who for the second game in a row were the BDCA headline-makers for their upset win.
Before their past two wins, the Goers had been on the bottom of the ladder with just one victory.
Travis Colley (3-23), Irwin (3-56) and Davies (3-34) took three wickets each for the Demons, who dropped from second to third with their third defeat of the season.
Colley had been on a hat-trick early in the innings when he dismissed Craig Pearce (14 off 40) and Mitch Blackman (0 off 1) in consecutive deliveries.
Pearce and Blackman were among five Bendigo players given out lbw in the innings.
In their past four meetings, Bendigo has won by three runs, White Hills by six and 11 runs, and there has also been a tie.
• Strathfieldsaye staved off Bendigo United's outright attempt in their game at Tannery Lane.
Having already been beaten on first innings on day one, the Jets resumed their innings at 2-30.
The Jets showed much more resolve in their second innings, batting 89.4 overs in making 197.
Cory Devanny (46, five fours) and Xavier Crone (43, two fours) led the improved batting effort for the Jets.
The Strathfieldsaye innings included a last wicket stand of 27 between Devanny and Justin Hargreaves (13 n.o.) that frustrated Bendigo United.
Byron Perrin (3-44) and Nick Crawford (3-51) both backed up their strong bowling effort in the first innings with three wickets each in the second for the Redbacks.
Needing 190 runs off just 12 overs in their second innings, the Redbacks made an ambitious - and that's an under-statement - attempt for an outright victory.
Requiring a run-rate of 15.8 per over to gain maximum points, the Redbacks were on target when Matt Pinniger smashed Hargreaves (0-13) for six first ball of the innings.
However, the run-chase was later abandoned in the fourth over with the score 1-32 after Pinniger (26 n.o.) hit Ben Devanny (1-16) for a straight six and the ball couldn't be found.
• It was a run-feast for Strathdale-Maristians as they avenged their round two loss to Eaglehawk at Bell Oval in the match of the round.
Resuming the day at 1-95 in reply to the Hawks' 216, the Suns added 292 more runs to reply with 6-387 - the BDCA's highest score this season.
The Suns took 32 overs on Saturday to score the 122 they needed to win.
The Hawks gave themselves a chance with the early dismissals of Adrian Pappin (39 off 65, three fours, one six) and Matthew Thomas (29 off 47, six fours) to leave the Suns 3-121.
However, captain and coach Linton Jacobs and Cameron Taylor guided the Suns to victory, putting on 101 for the fourth wicket as they both made half-centuries.
Jacobs scored 78 off 117 (10 fours, one six), while Taylor added 51 off 60 (six fours) in what was his third score above 50 in his past five innings.
The only bitter note for the Suns was stalwart Ben DeAraugo just missing out on what would have been a maiden ton.
DeAraugo continued his strong batting form with 96 off 124 (10 fours, three sixes) before he was trapped lbw by Andrew Smith (1-119).
Rather than the first ton of his career, DeAraugo instead had to settle for his fourth half-century of the season as he lifted his tally of runs to 324.
In what was a long day in the field for Eaglehawk, Cory Jacobs gave his all with the ball to snare a career-best 6-98 off 31.3 overs.
Jacobs' wickets included that of his older brother - Linton - who he trapped lbw, while he also ran out Pappin.
The Suns moved from third to second with the victory, while the defeat cost the Hawks their position in the top four.
• Golden Square made it a perfect 10-from-10, defeating Sandhurst by 53 runs at J.L. King Weeroona Oval.
Sandhurst was bowled out for 236 chasing Square's 289, with the Dragons left to rue the 58-run partnership for the last wicket put on by Jamie Bysouth and Luke Baird last week.
Teenagers Sebastian Greene (47, six fours) and Isaac Conway (29, three fours) got the Dragons' innings away to a strong start with a 74-run stand for the first wicket.
Greene and Conway were among a top-order that got plenty of starts, with the Sandhurst top-six also including Nick Scullie (20, three fours), captain Craig Howard (20, four fours), Shane Robinson (42, six fours, one six) and Ned Slater (32, three fours, one six).
Alex McGauchie added an unbeaten 32 (one four, one six) at No.8 for the Dragons, who having been 4-173 lost their last six wickets for 63 runs.
Grant Connelly (3-29) took the first three wickets for Golden Square before later leaving the field, while spinner Bysouth (3-41) also picked up three wickets as Golden Square continued its dominance of the Dragons.
• Huntly-North Epsom moved within one game of the top-four after its 49-run win over bottom side Kangaroo Flat at Dower Park.
With a difficult chase of the Power's 6-307, the Roos didn't go down without a fight in making 258.
No.3 Lachlan Shelton (79) continued his breakout season for the Roos and is now the side's leading run-scorer with 278, while another young player in opener Josh Newlan (58) also scored a half-century.
Shelton and Newlan put on 58 for the third wicket.
Starting his innings with the Roos 1-36, Shelton batted until he was the eighth wicket to fall with the score on 194.
The Roos were one stage 4-176 in their chase, but lost 5-39 to slump to 9-215, before Liam Jones (32 n.o.) and the evergreen Shane Harling (15) added 43 for the last wicket.
Sam Johnston sent down a marathon 31 overs for the Power, taking 2-83, while Brett Elvey (2-40) and Thomas Wilson (2-34) also took two wickets each.
The Power have now won four of their past five games.