MORE CRICKET - Bendigo United v Strathfieldsaye, round 12 | PHOTOS
MORE CRICKET - BDCA player profiles for Melbourne Country Week
BDCA finals aspirants White Hills and Strathfieldsaye will both head into day two of round 12 next Saturday under the pump - the Demons with ball and Jets with bat.
The Demons (v Eaglehawk) and Jets (v Bendigo United) are playing the bottom two sides on the ladder, but both have had the challenge firmly laid down to them.
The Jets surrendered a position of dominance late in the day against Bendigo United at Harry Trott Oval.
Having bowled the Redbacks out for 96, the Jets then had 29 overs at the crease in which to make some decent inroads into their target.
Instead they went to stumps at a precarious 5-51.
However, 5-51 looks a lot better than the 5-27 the Jets had been in the 17th over with Seamus Dwyer (1), Savith Priyan (0), captain Ben Devanny (8), Zoltan Smyth (11) and Chathura Damith (4) all out.
The Redbacks' energetic performance in the field was highlighted by two superb pieces of play.
Firstly when Ashley Younghusband ran from square leg to fine leg to run out Priyan, who was going for a third run, with a direct hit.
And secondly when Harry Donegan dived one hand and brilliantly caught Smyth low to the ground at point.
As well as his run out of Priyan, Younghusband also has the wickets of Devanny and Damith as he closed the day with figures of 2-5 off six overs.
Earlier, Strathfieldsaye's Jed Rodda claimed the best figures of his first XI career, taking 4-39 off 14 overs.
Rodda struck twice early with the dismissals of opener Wes Hopcott (0) and Jake Klemm (5) and from there the Redbacks were constantly on the backfoot - at one stage 3-12 and then 6-37, with their top five batsmen combining for just 15 runs.
Damith's 3-24 off 15 overs featured the wicket of Redbacks' century-maker last week Donegan (5), while spinner Priyan's eight overs included seven maidens as he took 2-2.
EAGLEHAWK v WHITE HILLS
From nine points clear in the top four to potentially finding itself in the dangerous position of needing to beat Huntly-North Epsom in the last round to make the finals.
That's the predicament White Hills could be staring at unless it can orchestrate eight wickets for just 42 runs against Eaglehawk next week.
The young Hawks, who have the incentive of trying to get off the bottom of the ladder, are well on top of the Demons after a stellar bowling performance at Canterbury Park.
The Demons were skittled for just 89 having one stage looked like they would struggle to even get that many at 7-51 in the 31st over.
Scoring wasn't easy on the slow Canterbury Park outfield - it took the Demons 26 balls to get their first run of the day and they had just nine on the board after 10 overs, by which stage their two leading run-scorers of the season, skipper Mitch Winter-Irving (4) and Rhys Irwin (1), were both out.
The Hawks' bowling figures were filled with economical performances - Josh Williams (1-9 off 9), Angus Chisholm (0-9 off 8), Nick Farley (2-8 off 8) and Nash Viney (0-5 off 5) conceding just 31 runs off 30 overs.
Ben Williams (3-18) and Rhys Smith (3-8) both picked up three wickets each for the Hawks.
The only innings of any length of substance for the Demons came from No.8 Mick Peters (19 in 104 minutes) and No.9 Jack Bourke (14 in 107 minutes), with the pair putting on 31 for the eighth wicket.
The Hawks went to stumps at 2-46, with Brendan Archbold (19) and Viney (11) not out.
STRATHDALE-MARISTIANS v BENDIGO
Strathdale-Maristians has already beaten Bendigo and is now gunning for outright points as it strives to get back to the top of the ladder.
Bendigo was all out for 109 batting first in an innings that came to a screeching halt; the Suns then scored at better than a run-a-ball in smashing 4-118 declared off 19 overs; before the Goers went to stumps already in dire straits in their second dig at 3-12 at Bell Oval.
Considering captain Shane Koop (4), Alex Pearson (0) and Kyle Humphrys (0) are the batsmen already out in the second innings, it's going to take a massive rearguard action against the odds from the Goers next week to deny the Suns the maximum 10 points.
The Goers had been 4-107 in their first innings before a whirlwind of wickets tumbled as the Suns took 6-2 to dismiss Bendigo in the 50th over.
Sam Johnston (4-28) and Ryan Haythorpe (3-12) led the charge for the Suns, while wicket-keeper Linton Jacobs was kept busy behind the stumps with three catches and a stumping.
Throughout the flurry of wickets late, Goers' captain Shane Koop watched on from the other end as the opener carried his bat, finishing 42 n.o.
In reply the Suns' quickfire 4-118 declared featured a blistering 62 off 43 from Jack Neylon with four sixes and four boundaries.
Pearson (4-59) took all four of the wickets for the Goers.
KANGAROO FLAT v SANDHURST
Kangaroo Flat has given itself a strong chance of keeping its finals destiny in its own hands, posting 286 against Sandhurst at Dower Park.
The Roos, who sit in fourth position on the ladder, had Chris Barber (75) and Matt Dwyer (65) make half-centuries, while fellow top-order batsmen Ben Birkhead (38) and Josh Collinson (35) also helped lay a strong platform.
Birkhead and Barber got the Roos off to another flyer with 78 already on the board after 20 overs.
Barber's 75 included the shot-of-the day with an early six over point off Jack Ryan (1-61), while Dwyer also launched a massive six off Ben Evans (0-18) that soared over the coaches box.
Having been 2-164 off 46 overs at tea the Roos were well on track to post 300-plus, but the Dragons fought back with the ball after the break, at one stage taking 4-14 as Kangaroo Flat fell from 2-214 to 6-228.
Captain Taylor Beard (2-58), Sam Sperling (2-58) and Zac Sims (2-23) each took two wickets for the Dragons, who will need to make their highest score of the season next week if they are to win.
GOLDEN SQUARE v HUNTLY-NORTH EPSOM
Golden Square has 7-235 to defend against Huntly-North Epsom as it strives to keep alive its finals hopes.
Ryan Hartley (51), Scott Trollope (48), Scott Johnson (46), Alex Code (37 n.o.) and captain Liam Smith (36) scored the bulk of the runs for Square, which up until the 73rd over had lost just two wickets at Wade Street.
That was in stark contrast to its last last meeting against the Power - last season's grand final when Square was already five-for in the eighth over.
Brett Elvey (3-61) and Adam Ward (2-51) were multiple wicket-takers for the ladder-leading Power.
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