MORE CRICKET - Bendigo United v Golden Square | PHOTOS
WHAT appeared to be a regulation run chase became tough going for White Hills on Saturday as it was forced to stave off a Taylor Beard-inspired Sandhurst in their BDCA one-day clash.
The Demons skittled the Dragons for just 67 bowling first, but were then up against it in their chase at 8-49 at White Hills.
Captain Beard loomed as the match-winner for the Dragons when he took 4-6 from his first seven overs, and then came back into the attack to pick up two more wickets as Sandhurst threatened to pull off an unlikely victory.
However, the pair of Jack Bourke and Linc Jacobs dug in to defy the Dragons, adding the 19 runs needed for victory as the Demons got out of jail, reaching 8-68.
In what was a tense finish Jacobs (7 n.o.) and Bourke (6 n.o.) faced 52 balls for their combined 13 runs, while the Demons were also aided when Nathan Walsh (0-5) conceded five wides in what became the penultimate over of the match.
Jacobs hit the winning runs when he lofted spinner Shasheen Fernando (1-14) over mid-wicket in the 33rd over to end a game in which 18 wickets fell for just 135 runs.
The unbroken 19-run stand between Bourke and Jacobs was the equal highest of the match in which just four players reached double figures - White Hills' Jayden Sheean (21) and Caleb Barras (12) and Sandhurst's Caelan Smith (17) and Ben Leed (16).
Beard's superb bowling performance included bowling both Rhys Irwin (0) and Gavin Bowles (0) in the opening over of the Demons' run-chase.
He later added Sheean, Mitch Winter-Irving (2), Dylan Bailie (0) and Tom Schultz (0) to his scalps.
"It was one of those wickets where if you really bent your back and hit it hard it gave you plenty, whether that be variable bounce or a bit of sideways movement and that's where I probably got a bit out of it," Beard said.
"It's a bit of a tough game to review because we were really poor with our batting, but that was as well as we've bowled since I've been at the club. And we were really good in the field as well, so there's plenty of positives we'll take, but the batting was obviously a negative."
Beard's six-for takes him to the top of the BDCA wicket tally with 27 after nine rounds.
Earlier, the Dragons were unable to get any flow in their innings after winning the toss and batting, with their dismissal for 67 their lowest score since 2014-15.
As well as his match-winning partnership with Jacobs later in the day, off-spinner Bourke (3-6) also picked up three wickets for the Demons.
Bailie (3-15) also claimed three wickets, while after being called up to the first XI Cameron Berry (2-10) claimed the two key top-order scalps of Joel Murphy (8) and Beard (0).
KANGAROO FLAT v STRATHFIELDSAYE
Kangaroo Flat is on the move, breaking its way into the top four after making light work of Strathfieldsaye at Dower Park.
In a critical game between fifth and sixth on the ladder entering the round the Roos crushed the Jets by eight wickets.
The Roos dismissed the Jets for 89 and then took just 91 balls to reply with 2-91.
In total the game lasted just 45.2 overs.
After the Roos' bowlers had done their job Kangaroo Flat's Josh Collinson then ensured an early finish to the game, blasting a quickfire 59 n.o. off just 41 balls.
Of Collinson's 59, he ran just seven, with his slashing innings featuring 10 fours and two sixes.
While he didn't take nine wickets for the Roos like in their earlier game this season against Strathfieldsaye at the QEO, Dylan Klemm was again influential with the ball earlier in the day after the Jets won the toss.
Klemm snared 3-18 off seven overs, giving him combined figures of 12-52 off 23.1 overs in his two games against Strathfieldsaye this season.
Of the Jets' top five batsmen, only Pat Felmingham (20) made more than five.
Although, the Jets' top-order didn't help themselves with Seamus Dwyer (4) and Savith Priyan (1) both run out.
Also among the early wickets to fall was captain Ben Devanny (0), who was bowled by counterpart Brent Hamblin (2-15) for what was his first duck for 48 innings.
Chathura Damith's 24 off 18 was the top score for the Jets, while No.10 Stuart Payne occupied the most balls at the crease in finishing 17 n.o. off 45.
Kangaroo Flat climbed from sixth to fourth with the victory and has now won three of its past four games following a sluggish start.
BENDIGO v STRATHDALE-MARISTIANS
Sam Johnston lived up to his nickname of "Slammer" with a brutal display of power hitting for Strathdale-Maristians against Bendigo at Atkins Street.
Johnston slammed eight sixes in his scintillating innings of 81 to help the flag favourite Suns to 7-269.
Batting first, the Suns were 4-119 in the 28th over when Johnston began his innings.
Just 13 overs later when the left-hander departed in the 41st they were 5-236.
Johnston smashed 81 off just 43 balls, with his innings featuring eight sixes that sailed over mid-wicket and three boundaries.
And the Goers were fortunate to get him out when they did given Johnston's last 10 scoring shots read seven sixes, one four and two singles.
The Suns also had recruit Grant Waldron follow up his 83 last week with a brisk 51 n.o. off 51, while opener Cameron Taylor scored 40.
The Suns now have Taylor (64.89), Waldron (60.86) and Johnston (60.60) all averaging in the 60s, with the trio having 10 50-plus scores between them.
Alex Pearson's 3-40 for the Goers included the dismissal of Johnston, who was caught by Tom Hart, while Dylan Johnstone (2-34) removed both Suns' openers Taylor and James Vlaeminck (28), who put on 57 for the first wicket.
The Goers were all out for 143 in reply, with the loss the third in their past four games, costing them their position in the top four.
Openers Xavier Ryan (21) and captain Shane Koop (16) put on 36 for the first wicket, but the Goers had later slumped to 9-100 in the 28th over before the last pair of Ryan Trickey and Bailey Goodwin delayed the inevitable for a further eight overs.
Trickey (32 n.o.) and Goodwin (10) added 43 for the last wicket in what was the best partnership of the innings.
Short-priced Cricketer of the Year favourite Taylor (4-12) and Jacob DeAraugo (4-50) each bagged four wickets for the Suns, while Ryan Haythorpe (0-5 off 7) kept his end tight.
HUNTLY-NORTH EPSOM v EAGLEHAWK
Huntly-North Epsom defeated Eaglehawk for a fifth-consecutive time with a successful run-chase by four wickets.
Chasing the Hawks' 9-173, the Power took 41.5 overs to answer with 6-176, but not before early concerns in their chase.
The Power had been a shaky 3-24 in the ninth over, which included the dismissal of Adam Ward (0), who was run out by a direct hit from Angus Chisholm at mid-off in the opening over.
However, half-centuries to the pair of Ajith Rajapaksha (59 n.o.) and Danushka Wijemanna (51) steered the Power on the path to victory, with the Sri Lankan pair adding 82 together for the fourth wicket.
Rajapaksha's knock continued his solid form, with the keeper-batsman now averaging 93.0 in his past four hits, while Wijemanna's 51 was his third half-century of the season.
Leg-spinner Nash Viney (3-42) was the best of the bowlers for the Hawks, with his dismissals including the two early wickets of Ryan Grundy (16) and Sandun Ranathunga (3).
Earlier in the day opener Ben Williams was the backbone of the Hawks' 9-173 - a vastly improved score on Eagehawk's three previous first innings totals against the Power: 79, 109 and 111.
Although, the innings got off to another shaky start when captain Matt Fitt (0) was caught behind off Lewis Stabler (1-33) on the fourth ball of the day.
While Fitt was gone early, the gritty Williams batted through until the 40th over in compiling his maiden first XI half-century (54).
Williams was part of two 50-plus stands, putting on 64 for the second wicket with Anthony West (36) and 54 for the third with Aaron Monro (32).
Leg-spinner Ranathunga was the seventh bowler used by the Power, but was the most successful, snaring 4-12 off eight tidy overs.
Ranathunga was wicket-less for his first 27 deliveries, before picking up three in his next eight balls.
BENDIGO UNITED v GOLDEN SQUARE
Scott Trollope led Golden Square to its third win of the season against Bendigo United at Harry Trott Oval.
The Bulldogs were under the pump at 3-18 in the 10th over chasing the Redbacks' 130.
However, with Trollope leading the way, Square didn't lose another wicket, reaching 3-134 in the 32nd over.
Trollope scored at better than a run-a-ball in cracking 83 off 76 with 11 boundaries and one six in what was his third score of 70-plus in his past four hits.
Veteran Scott Johnson (22 n.o,) provided the support to Trollope as the pair put on 116 for the fourth wicket.
Veteran Leigh McDermott (2-18), who took the new ball, was Bendigo United's only multiple wicket-taker.
Meanwhile, the Redbacks' 130 after they won the toss and batted featured 43 from captain Miggy Podosky.
Elevated up the order to No.5, Podosky looked headed for his maiden first XI half-century before being run out by Alex Code.
Podosky was one of three top-order run outs for the Redbacks along with opener Connor Thomson (0) and Adam Rady (2).
Corey Van Aken's 3-28 were Square's best bowling figures, while spinner Jamie Bysouth picked up 2-26 in his return to the first XI side.