Stratford breaks College’s hearts

Steve Spoljaric made his second century of the SMCA First Grade season in Bundalaguah's impressive win over Rosedale-Kilmany.Photo: File

Josh Farrell

Stratford won a thriller at College playing fields on Saturday courtesy of three byes on the penultimate ball.

Collegians won the toss and batted first in a match that it needed to win to hold its place in third on the ladder.

College’s innings was punctuated by a number of starts from its top five but an inability to turn those starts into a big score.

The Morrisons were the pick of the batters for College with Tom compiling a well-made 33 and Charlie finishing on 40 not out to help guide their team to a score of 144.

Stratford skipper Jack Tatterson was the pick of the bowlers, keeping his economy rate down finishing with figures of 4/21 from his eight overs.

Bodhi Walker continued his good form so far this season taking 3/17 from seven and a half overs to put College on the back foot.

Stratford set about chasing down the smaller total, but the College bowlers were not going to let the batters chase this score easily.

The Redbacks got off to a shaky start finding themselves at 2/10 early after losing Jack Rietschel and Bodhi Walker cheaply.

Lewis Bolton and Jack Tatterson got to work stabilising the innings for Stratford before the captain fell for 25 from 38 balls.

Bolton then partnered with Ben Channing before he eventually fell for 45 from 73 and then wickets feel regularly after that.

Channing departed for 26 and the score was 6/116 and Sam Anstee soon followed and all of a sudden, the Redbacks were seven down with 28 still to get.

Ethan Albrecht and Simon Williams departed and Stratford were nine down still needing another eight runs to secure a victory.

The Redbacks were slowly inching its way towards victory, similarly to its recent victory over Maffra.

Henry Anderson had the difficult task of defending five off the last over, but would have known a wicket was all they needed to secure an important win.

The first ball was on Lachie Dowd’s pads and was whipped away to deep square leg for a two and the Redbacks needed three runs from five deliveries.

Three dots followed and Anderson was causing problems for Dowd who was struggling to get the young bowler away.

The penultimate ball was an impressive in swinging yorker to Dowd, just missing the batters stumps and it kept swinging after it passed the batter and Jed Malone could not reign it in and the Stratford batters were able to make it back for three to see their team over the line.

Tom Morrison continued his good batting form taking 3/29 with the ball, Mark Nicholls was equally impressive taking 3/26 from his nine and Isaac Love chipped in with 2/33 from his nine.

Stratford showed once again that it can win the tight games and will look to continue its winning form as it moves towards finals.

College will not have time to stew on this heart-breaking loss as it will need to be prepared for its clash with top of the table Bundalaguah next Saturday.

Stratford remain in second on the ladder with 50 points and College slipped to fourth behind third placed Maffra by half a game.

A Steve Spoljaric century helped Bundalaguah to a commanding win over Rosedale-Kilmany to maintain its spot on top of the ladder.

The Warriors won the toss and sent the Bulls in to bat and would have been happy with its decision when Bundalaguah found themselves at 2/10 after they had done some reshuffling to the batting order.

Spoljaric joined captain Jason Langshaw at the crease and the two set about rescuing the innings for Bundalaguah.

Langshaw had a simple task, with Spoljaric getting into his work and punishing the Rosedale-Kilmany bowlers he had the best seat in the house.

The pair were able to put on 118 before Langshaw fell for 34 from 77 but Spoljaric continued from where he had left off partnering now with Sam Bedggood.

Bedggood was dismissed for 20, this dismissal only his third for the season, and James Read came in to see the innings to a close partnering with Spoljaric.

The SMCA star finished on 129 not out from 128 which included 15 fours and one six to power the Bulls to a score of 219.

It was always going to be tough for Rosedale-Kilmany to chase down the Bulls mammoth total and it never really got going in its innings.

The pick of the batters was Michael Walters who played a lone hand for the Warriors putting on 32 of Rosedale-Kilmany’s 85.

The wickets were well spread for the Bulls, but Sam Bedggood was the pick of the bowlers taking 3/11 from his six overs.

Bedggood was well supported by Connor Lay (2/15) and Spoljaric (2/18) to keep the Warriors score down.

The Bulls find themselves on top of the ladder with an impressive percentage while the Warriors slip to seventh on the ladder one game behind Boisdale-Briagolong.

Maffra had a clinical win over Sale at home to jump into third on the ladder.

The Eagles went into the match missing some of its best bowlers in Nathan Magnuson and Ben Durrant, but the team was able to re-enter the winners list.

Sale won the toss and chose to bat first at the Eagles nest and the Swans lost captain Rohan Blandford to a Josh Davis screamer at first slip of the bowling of Max Knobel who was playing his 50th senior game.

Wickets fell regularly for Sale and the Swans found themselves at 4/43 after John Mayman departed.

Ben Jones survived the carnage and was impressive for Sale and at one point had scored 43 of his team’s 66.

Wickets fell regularly and Nathan Massey came to the wicket and put on 43 not out to help guide the Swans to 164 which was slightly below par.

It was a good spread of wickets for the Maffra bowlers with David Griffiths (3/22), Knobel (2/24) and Mitch Bennett (2/28) chipping in with wickets.

It was a simple run chase for the Eagles even after losing Daniel Bedggood for 15 early, Lee Hopkins and Josh Rurawhe guided the Eagles well.

Rurawhe departed for 27 and Davis and Hopkins got to work guiding the run chase home.

Hopkins batted through the innings with 83 from 112 and Davis went at a run a ball for his 34 to secure Maffra an eight wicket win with eight overs to spare.

The Eagles are now third on the ladder and Sale remain two games behind fourth placed College and will need results to go its way of it wants to find its way into finals for this year.

The final match of the round saw Boisdale-Briagolong make the journey to Stephenson Park for its match against Longford.

The Saints won the toss and batted first putting together a well-made 6/179 from its 45 overs.

It was a good spread of run scorers that helped Boisdale-Briagolong to its score and the opening partnership of 46 helped before Michael Roberts fell for 26.

Two quick wickets followed and Dylan Bolton joined Stephen Noble at the crease and played well before Bolton fell for 34 and then Noble went soon after for 55.

A late flourish from Ned Sutton helped the Saints to its score of 179.

Mitch Floyd (3/28) and Jake Wynd (2/31) were the pick of the bowlers for the Lizards.

It was a similar tale as a number of other games throughout the season for Longford as its batters just could not get going.

Wayne Macgregor-Davies once again was the shining light for the Lizards making 32 not out to help Longford to 107.

Connor Hughes (4/21) and Ned Sutton (3/23) were the pick of the bowlers for Boisdale-Briagolong and helped their side to a commanding win.

Boisdale-Briagolong find itself in sixth on 20 points only half a game behind Sale and Longford are on the bottom of the table two games behind Rosedale-Kilmany.