Emu Valley threw a cat amongst the pigeons in the race for grand final berths in division one of Bendigo Country Week.
Emu Valley's upset win over the previously unbeaten Wangaratta on Wednesday means four teams can mathematically join Murray Valley in Friday's final at the QEO.
The biggest winner out of Emu Valley's victory was Goulburn Murray who jumped into second place with one round remaining.
Murray Valley is ubeaten with 47.37 points, with Goulburn Murray second on 36.53 ahead of Wangaratta on 33.24, Gisborne 23.54 and Emu Valley 22.25.
Gisborne and Emu Valley would need to score huge wins over Castlemaine and Goulburn Murray respectively to have any chance of forcing their way into the final.
Wangaratta needs to upset Murray Valley on Thursday and hope that Emu Valley defeats Goulburn Murray.
Emu Valley's impressive win was set up by its bowlers.
Greg Thomas (4-28) and Brad Webster (3-29) did the bulk of the damage as Wangaratta collapsed from 2-83 to all out 134.
Emu Valley overcame some nervous moments early to finish 4-147.
Thomas capped a brilliant all-round game by finishing 42 not out.
Rick Ladson continued his good form with 42, while skipper Leon Beatty (26) and Dallas Gill (20 not out) contributed to the win.
Goulburn Murray's batsmen impressed in a high-scoring clash with Gisborne at Harry Trott Oval.
Batting first, Gisborne made 212 thanks to a fine 72 from 75 balls by Ryan Billinghurst and a solid 39 off 52 balls by Chris Burkett.
Goulburn Murray looked in trouble at 3-40, but Josh Wood (63 off 64 balls), Matt Hinks (62 not out) and Daniel Coombs (33) turned the game around.
Goulburn Murray passed Gisborne's total eight wickets down and went on to post 9-240 off 50 overs.
Joel Garbutt took three wickets for Gisborne.
Murray Valley made it three wins from as many games when it defeated the winless Castlemaine by 97 runs.
Star opener Wian Van Zyl made 61 off 55 balls to take his carnival total to 189 runs at an average of 63.
Andrew Hogan (36), Adam Deccico (29 not out) and Riley Gow (29) made key contributions in Murray Valley's total of 227.
John Watson (5-35) bowled well for Castlemaine and snared the best figures in division one this week.
Glen Meredith (28) was the only Castlemaine batsman to pass 25 in the team total of 130.
Ash Quinn (3-17) and Jesse Barker (3-21) were the pick of the bowlers for Murray Valley.
Colac’s Dylan Slater became the first player to score a century at the 2019 carnival when he made a brilliant 117 not out against Grampians.
Slater strode to the crease with his side 3-46 chasing the Grampians’ total of 8-222 at Weeroona Oval.
Slater added 79 for the fourth wicket with James Rowan (21) and an unbeaten stand of 105 for the fifth wicket with Brad Vicary (36 not out).
The victory put Colac in the box seat to earn a place in the division two grand final.
Earlier in the day, Nigel Sibson (62) and Sam Cocks (56) made half-centuries for Grampians.
Rowan took 3-52 for Colac.
Grassmere retained its unbeaten status by defeating Red Cliffs.
Grassmere’s batsmen battled their way to 137 at Canterbury Park.
Justin Coates (45) and Braden Hotker (27 not out) batted well for Grassmere, while Lachlan Rohde (4-49) and Ben Mole (3-19) were on target for Red Cliffs.
Grassmere’s Brayden Buchanan (3-27) tore through the Red Cliffs top-order.
Red Cliffs crashed to 6-46 before Lachlan Rohde and Anthony Shaw (28) put their heads down to bat their side back into the game.
They added 64 for the seventh wicket before Rohde fell for 36.
Grassmere’s Pat Mahony (3-15) took three of the final four wickets to fall as Red Cliffs were dismissed for 123.
Portland kept its final hopes alive by thrashing Northern Districts.
Portland spinner Syd Ray took 5-19 and Jason Pitt 3-19 as Northern Districts were bowled out for 147.
Opener Garry Lolicato made 50 for Northern Districts.
Portland cruised to 5-234, with Nick Wills belting 61 off 51 balls.
Openers Jake Wilson (42) and Mark Pitt (32) set the foundation for Portland.
Unbeaten teams Grassmere and Colac meet in round four on Thursday. The winner will secure a final berth, while the loser will have an anxious wait to see how Portland goes against Red Cliffs.
Maryborough is in the box seat to play in the division three grand final after it defeated Northern United on Wednesday.
Chasing Northern United’s total of 156, Maryborough won by two wickets with 15 balls to spare.
No batting or bowling figures for Maryborough were supplied.
Northern United’s best were Matt Gilmour (35 and 2-26) and Tyler Oliver (31 and 2-44).
Northern United needs to score a good win over Wimmera-Mallee on Thursday to force its way into Friday’s final.
Upper Loddon scored its first win of the week when it defetaed Grassmere by 64 runs.
Upper Loddon posted 9-188 thanks to great batting from Brad Holt (59) and Taz Fitzallen (58).
Opening bowler Jayden Leach (4-16) put Grassmere on the back foot.
Jason Hutchins (57) was the only Grassmere bowler to score more than 20 in a team total of 124.
DAY FOUR DRAW
Division one – Castlemaine v Gisborne at White Hills, Emu Valley v Goulburn Murray at Harry Trott Oval, Murray Valley v Wangaratta at Dower Park.
Division two – Grassmere v Colac at Huntly, Grampians v Northern Districts at Strathfieldsaye, Red Cliffs v Portland at Golden Square.
Division three – Northern United v Wimmera-Mallee at Raywood, Upper Loddon v Maryborough at Hedges Oval.