UNITED moved into second position on the ladder after winning an entertaining tussle on the last ball with arch-rival Spring Gully in Saturday's EVCA match of the round.
The Tigers got over the line by four runs at Spring Gully, with the home side involved in a thriller for the second week in a row.
Spring Gully won the toss and batted first, posting 6-214 off its 40 overs after overcoming the early dismissal of opener Lachlan Brook (1).
The Crows' innings featured half-centuries to their two leading run-scorers this season, Rhys Webb and Byron Perrin.
Webb backed up his 84 against Emu Creek last week with a knock of 68 that was laced with 11 boundaries.
And veteran Perrin's fine season with the bat continued, with his unbeaten 51 off 41 now giving him 281 runs at an average of 93.6.
The Crows' innings also included 45 from Jesse Marciano, with he and Webb adding 79 for the third wicket.
Captain Harry Whittle (2-34) and Tyler James (2-54) both claimed two wickets each for the Tigers, who later took until the final ball of their chase to get over the line.
The Tigers had entered the last over of their innings to be bowled by the Crows' Shaun O'Shea (1-74) on 8-213 and needing just two to get over the line with James Smith (24 n.o.) and Tyler James (1 n.o.) at the crease.
O'Shea's first four deliveries to James were all dots, before a single was scored off the fifth ball to tie the scores.
With Smith on strike for the final ball, his shot was edged through the vacant slip cordon and went to the boundary for four to lift the Tigers to 8-218.
Earlier, Pat Hartney (50) top-scored for the Tigers, while Dooley Niemann (47), Jayde Mullane (33) and skipper Whittle (23) chipped in with handy contributions.
Captain Alex Sutton (4-35) was the standout with the ball for the Crows, which included the big scalp of United gun Alex Code (2) caught by stalwart Shaun Makepeace.
* A century to Travis O'Connell as part of a dominant opening partnership with Bodee Scullie paved the way for West Bendigo to win its third game of the season.
O'Connell scored the competition's seventh ton of the season in what was very much a top-heavy looking Redbacks' scorecard against Axe Creek at home.
O'Connell cracked 113 in the Redbacks' tally of 9-233 off their 40 overs batting first.
He faced 124 balls and belted 12 fours and three sixes and teamed with Scullie for a 153-run opening stand.
Scullie - who also has an EVCA ton this season - was in fine touch with 70 off 66 balls, with the Cowboys taking into the 25th over to finally break the partnership.
With O'Connell and Scullie making 183 runs between them, plus 14 extras, the other nine Redbacks' batsmen combined for 36 runs.
Axe Creek captain Paul Barber's 4-29 off eight tidy overs included the wickets of both O'Connell and Scullie.
The Cowboys batted out their 40 overs in reply, but were unable to surpass the opening stand of O'Connell and Scullie as they were restricted to 7-148.
Among the early blows for the Cowboys was the cheap dismissal of previous week century-maker Joel Bish (7), while they also lost No.3 Daniel Dixon (0) both with score on 22.
Opener Dean Comensoli's 37 was the Cowboys' top score as a West Bendigo attack that had Matthew Gallagher (2-43) and Josh Leech (2-33) each take two wickets kept the pressure on.
* Reigning premier Emu Creek has moved into the top four for the first time after replacing Marong.
The Emus beat the Panthers by four wickets at Malone Park to grab fourth spot from them.
The Panthers were up against it from the outset, slumping to 3-10 early batting first before grinding their way to 8-126.
Among the early wickets to fall was the key dismissal of dangerman David Blume (4), who was trapped lbw by Luke Bennett (2-14).
While early wickets tumbled around him, opener Brendan Shepherd placed a high value on his as he spent 76 balls and 95 minutes at the crease in making six.
The only Marong player to make more than 20 was No.9 Tom Wilson (32 n.o.).
The Emus lost openers Bennett (0) and Mark McGregor (8) to be 2-14, but had enough contributions from Brent Downie (34), Trevor Pickthall (25 n.o.), Tyrone Downie (23) and Tom McGregor (21) to pass their target in the 35th over as they pulled stumps at 6-129.
Amarpreet Singh was the top performer with the ball for the Panthers, with his 2-15 off eight overs featuring the dismissals of both the Emu Creek openers.
* Sedgwick record a comfortable 89-run victory over California Gully to win its second game of the season.
Captain Jordan Ilsley's strong form with the bat continued as his 49 helped the Rams post 194 batting first.
The Rams had gotten off to a solid start with a 42-run opening stand between Bailey Ilsley (28) and Dustin Elliott (14), while Damien Moyle later in the innings scored at better than a run-a-ball with 38 off 33.
With his 4-22 off eight overs, California Gully's Zac Knapman took over the mantle as the competition's leading wicket-taker on 15.
The Cobras found it tough going in their chase, losing their first four wickets with the score on 1, 1, 13 and 21 before being dismissed in the 37th over for 105.
Jordan Ilsley (2-3), Kyal Rasmussen (2-25) and Caleb Robson (2-35) were all multiple wicket-takers for the Rams, while only Brad Webster (31) scored more than 15 for the last-placed Cobras.
A CENTURY to keeper-batsman Phil Scholes helped Arnold bounce back from consecutive defeats in the Upper Loddon Cricket Association on Saturday and regain top spot.
The Redbacks recorded a 46-run victory over Kingower at home.
Batting first Kingower compiled 6-141 from its 35 overs in an innings that included a 54-run opening partnership between Matthew Rowe (47) and skipper Braydon Welsh (36).
Captain Cameron Dale (3-48) picked up three wickets for the Redbacks, who responded with 4-187.
Opener Scholes batted through the innings to finish unbeaten on 101.
Scholes and fellow opener Matt Giri (47) ensured the Redbacks would have few dramas chasing down their target as they put on 105 for the first wicket.
In Saturday's other game Wedderburn had the upper hand against Bridgewater.
The Bulls scored 9-124 batting first led by 38 from captain Harry McKinley, while Will Holt (3-18), Adam Postle (2-12), J Vander-Wetering (2-7) and Steven Giorlando (2-27) were all multiple wicket-takers for Wedderburn.
In reply half-centuries to openers Will Holt (57) and Brad Holt (55 n.o.) set their side up to reach 3-141.
Patrick Murphy's 2-25 off seven overs were the best figures for Bridgewater.
1. Arnold - 30
2. Kingower - 30
3. Wedderburn - 24
4. Bridgewater - 18
5. Boort-Yando - 6
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