Tigers top, Panthers miss

UNITED finished on top of the ladder and Marong missed a spot in the Emu Valley Cricket Association finals following their round 12 clash at Ewing Park on Saturday.

The Panthers - needing to win to be a chance of playing finals - failed to fire with the bat for the second game in a row and were beaten by 87 runs in the last round.

Having started the day at 2-23, the Panthers were bowled out for 117 chasing United's 204 as they ended the season fifth.

The victory pushed the Tigers to the top of the ladder and the minor premiership.

In what was a disappointing batting performance from the Panthers with their season on the line, only Richard Murphy (34) made more than 20.

The Panthers consistently lost wickets, with the only partnership worth more than 15 the 35 captain Jeremy Ross (19) and Murphy put on for the fifth wicket after Marong had been 4-38.

Andrew Gaul and Luke Kairn were the chief destroyers with the ball for United.

Gaul claimed the first four Marong wickets as he finished with 4-34 off 10 overs, while Kairn (4-12 off 7.4 overs) took the last four.

With its work done with the ball, United added to its points tally with a dashing 7-200 off 26.4 overs in its second innings.

Opener Tim Elliott bounced back from his duck in the first innings to belt 85 for the Tigers, while Josh White (26), Gaul (25) and Michael Frilay (27) all scored in the 20s.

• West Bendigo tumbled from top to fourth after surrendering a position of dominance against Golden Gully at Ken Wust Oval.

Chasing Golden Gully's 249, the Redbacks looked well on track for victory when they were 3-210.

However, the Redbacks collapsed in dramatic style, losing their last seven wickets for just 24 runs to be bowled out for 234.

Peter Moore bowled the finals-bound Cobras to victory with a superb performance with the ball.

Moore bagged 7-35 off 16.5 overs, including five of the last seven wickets to fall.

Saturday was the third time this season Moore has taken at least five wickets in an innings following his 5-34 against Emu Creek and 6-31 against Maiden Gully.

Moore now has 25 wickets for the season - all taken since round four.

Veteran Ken Bell's consistent season with the bat continued for West Bendigo as he passed the 500-run mark with his 73.

Travis O'Connell (31), Boe Bish (38) and Michael Peters (39) also batted the Redbacks into a position of strength before their capitulation.

• Explosive Mandurang opener Matt Giri was at his damaging best with a brilliant 173 against Axe Creek.

The Rangas answered the Cowboys' 8-257 with 337 in just 66.2 overs at Champions IGA Oval.

Giri's 173 came off just 151 balls and included 110 runs scored in boundaries - 23 fours and three sixes.

With his blistering knock, Giri ended the season as the EVCA's leading run-scorer with 640 to go with his 506 runs in the Bash for Cash tournament.

Highlighting just how dominant Giri was, Kieran Burns made 52 in an opening stand of 222.

The score was just 246 when Giri was the third wicket to fall.

Giri's 173 surpassed Simon Marwood's 163 not out for Emu Creek against Axe Creek in round two as the highest score this season.

Axe Creek's Jamie Morgan toiled hard for the Cowboys and was rewarded with a seven-wicket haul.

Morgan finished with 7-66 off his 17.2 overs, while Ash Dixon claimed 3-43 off 11 overs, including the wicket of Giri, who was caught by David Cannings.

Having played in the past three grand finals, Mandurang ended the season in sixth position, while the Cowboys finished ninth.

Saturday was the fifth time this season Axe Creek conceded a score of more than 300.

• Emu Creek held off wooden-spoon side Maiden Gully to win by 36 runs at JG Edwards Oval.

The Emus defended their 251 as they bowled the Gully out for 215.

Opener Alex Gorrie was the mainstay of the Maiden Gully innings.

Gorrie has endured a challenging season with five ducks among his 13 innings, but he was in fine form against the reigning premiers with a knock of 90.

Gorrie and Simon Cole (28) gave the Gully a chance of an upset victory when they moved the score along to 5-154.

However, when they fell within eight runs of each other to leave Maiden Gully 7-162, the Emus were back in control of the contest.

Anthony Collins was the best of the bowlers for the Emus, taking 3-45 off 16 overs.

With his three scalps, Collins ended the season as the EVCA's leading wicket-taker with 30 as he finished one ahead of Golden Gully paceman Cameron Moore (29).

Lucas Ruiden (2-10) and Tim Croke (2-26) were also multiple wicket-takers for the Emus, who finished third on the ladder.

• Sedgwick ended its season with a victory over Spring Gully at Club Court.

Resuming at 3-60, the Rams answered the Crows' 126 with 164 to notch up their fourth win.

No Sedgwick batting details were supplied.

Jackson Adams made the most of his chance with the ball to capture 5-31 off 13 overs for Spring Gully.

Spring Gully batted for 30.3 overs in its second innings, compiling 8-174.

Coach Andrew Sharpe led the way with 48, while Jarrod Harris (25), Jake Donegan (24) and Luke Hutchins (23) all made starts before getting out in the 20s.

• This weekend's semi-finals:

United v West Bendigo.

Golden Gully v Emu Creek.

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