EAGLEHAWK will enter the final round of the Bendigo District Cricket Association home and away season holding onto its position in the top four by half-a-game.
The fourth-placed Hawks are three points clear of Bendigo, with room for only one of the pair to join Strathdale-Maristians, Strathfieldsaye and Bendigo United in the finals.
The Hawks had gone into the weekend's double-header of matches in fifth position and trailing Bendigo on net run rate with the two sides each on 42 points.
However, the Hawks were able to secure nine points out of the weekend to overtake the Goers, who earned six.
Following a washed out draw against Golden Square on Saturday, the Hawks were convincing winners over Sandhurst by 89 runs at Weeroona Oval on Sunday.
The Hawks were the only team on Sunday to make more than 200 as they amassed 7-204 batting first.
Angus Chisholm (64), Jeremy Brown (48), captain Nick Farley (39) and Ben Williams (30) led the Hawks' strong batting performance.
Anthony McMahon (2-42) was the only multiple wicket-taker for the Dragons, who were unable to replicate their strong batting performance from the previous day against Bendigo United and were all out for 115.
The first wicket to fall was Ash Gray, who after smashing 109 off just 62 balls against the Redbacks on Saturday was dismissed by Farley (1-11) for two.
Soon after the Dragons were 4-20 and the Hawks in complete control.
Only Ben Leed (29) and mid-season recruit Kendrick Hatton (27) made more than 20 for the Dragons, while Eaglehawk spinners Russell Stockdale (3-32) and Tain Piercy (3-14) combined for six wickets.
* Grant Waldron enjoyed a stellar weekend with the bat for Strathdale-Maristians.
Waldron backed up his knock of 116 against Bendigo on Saturday with an unbeaten 80 in Sunday's 13-run win over Kangaroo Flat.
Waldron's unbeaten 80 was the backbone of the Suns' 6-169, which came after the flag favourites had been in some early bother at 2-10 with both openers Daniel Clohesy (4) and captain Cameron Taylor (0) back in the shed.
Dylan Klemm (3-39) and Brent Hamblin (2-28) were both multiple wicket-takers for the Roos, who after one stage being 2-95 in reply were bowled out for 156 with 15 balls left unused.
Impressive teenager Jack Pysing's 3-17 off nine overs were the Suns' best figures, while Waldron followed up his match-winning innings with a pair of catches.
The Kangaroo Flat innings had begun with a 60-run partnership between openers Chris Barber (39) and Daniel Barber (38), but the home side couldn't capitalise as it one stage lost 5-12 to fall from 2-95 to 7-107.
* Bendigo made a 1-1 split of the weekend after bouncing back from Saturday's loss to Strathdale-Maristians with a seven-wicket win over Huntly-North Epsom at Atkins Street.
Bailey Goodwin (3-17) and Craig Pearce (3-29) both took three wickets apiece as the Goers dismissed Huntly-North Epsom for 131.
Goodwin struck twice early with the wickets of Kanishka Nawagamuwa (0) and Pat De Mel (3) that had the Power 2-8 and in early strife.
Apart from a 61-run partnership for the third wicket between Danushka Wijemanna (41) and Ryan Grundy (32) the Goers held the upper throughout the Power innings, which ended in the 42nd over.
A 53-run opening stand between Xavier Ryan (37) and Bailey George (29) laid the foundation for the Goers needing just 33 overs to chase their target down as they answered with 3-134 to lift their season ledger into the positive at 8-7.
Adam Ward (1-15), captain Elliott Massina (1-18) and Nagagamuwa (1-22) each took one wicket for the Power.
* Four wickets to Henry Edwards helped Bendigo United to a 28-run win over White Hills at Scott Street.
The teenage leg-spinner bagged 4-14 off 7.4 overs as the Redbacks - defending a score of 140 - knocked over the Demons for 112.
Just like in Saturday's loss to Kangaroo Flat, the Demons only had two players score in double figures - Kyle Patten (35) and Gavin Bowles (23).
Edwards' four wickets included the key scalp of Demons' captain Mitch Winter-Irving (8), while skipper Clayton Holmes (2-20) removed both openers Bowles and Rhys Irwin (0).
Earlier, Holmes top-scored for the Redbacks with 33 to now have 645 runs for the season, while Irwin (3-17) and Bowles (3-20) - who relished the opportunity to roll the arm over with his spin - claimed three wickets each for the Demons.
* Strathfieldsaye will enter the last round in second position and with one hand on the double chance, while Golden Square's finals hopes evaporated after the Jets won their Wade Street clash by 25 runs.
Batting first, half-centuries to captain Ben Devanny (55 n.o.), Pat Felmingham (50 off 35) and 49 to Tim Wood helped the Jets to 7-193.
Wood and Felmingham - elevated up the order - got the visitors off to a strong start with an 86-run opening stand, while Golden Square's Dylan Robinson produced the remarkably economical figures of 3-3 off nine overs, which included six maidens.
The Bulldogs batted their 45 overs in reply and were held to 9-168, with skipper Liam Smith (56) passing 50 for the fifth time this season.
Jets' left-arm spinner Savith Priyan bagged 3-32 off nine overs to be among five Strathfieldsaye bowlers who took a wicket.
ROUND 16 THIS SATURDAY - Eaglehawk v White Hills, Golden Square v Sandhurst, Strathdale v Bendigo United, Huntly-North Epsom v Kangaroo Flat, Strathfieldsaye v Bendigo.
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