A NINE-wicket haul, twin centuries and two thrilling finishes highlighted the second week of round 11 action in Sale-Maffra cricket.
Both Boisdale-Briagolong and Stratford hung on to keep their seasons alive and create a tight logjam for a place in the top four.
AFTER having Collegians one down heading into day
two chasing its 171, Boisdale-Briagolong opening bowlers Jack Wrigglesworth and Todd Mann both put a stranglehold on the College top order, seeing it slump to 4-33.
Some consolidation in the middle stages from Jack Tatterson (29) and Jayden Allison (28) pulled College out of trouble, but when both were dismissed, their side was still 69 runs behind.
Lower order batsmen Charlie Morrison and Mark Nicholls (19) put on 44 for the eighth wicket to get College within touching distance, before Morrison was forced to farm the strike with the tail, as they edged closer and closer to victory.
Needing four runs to win with one wicket in hand, Morrison, who had scored 31, was struck on the pads by Jordan Price, with the umpire deeming the impact, line and height all pointed to a dismissal as the finger went up, handing Boisdale-Briagolong the win.
Best bowlers for the home side were Mann (4-51) and Wrigglesworth (3-41).
The Saints have come back from the Christmas break a new-look team, with three consecutive wins putting them only outside the top four on percentage.
STRATFORD achieved what it had set out to against Longford, winning outright in another match which kept supporters on edge.
With the Redbacks in a precarious position at homeafter day one, they were able to get past the Lizards’ first innings total for the loss of six wickets, before the tail wagged with Kerrod Macgregor-Davies (30) to stretch out a lead of 44.
Stephen Parry was the chief destroyer for Longford, taking 5-24, which included four unassisted wickets, while Clinton Osborne chipped in with 2-23.
In their second innings, the Lizards only managed 108, with Nitilaksh Prasad the top scorer on 25. The Lizards’ woes with the bat were more than likely due to the performance of Jack Rietschel, who claimed the remarkable figures of 9-48, the seventh best all time in the SMCA.
Needing 65 for an outright victory with precious time available, the Redbacks scrambled home in a pulsating finish, with the winning runs coming in the final overs. Stratford remains in seventh place on the ladder, but only a game outside the top four.
Osborne backed up his first innings efforts for Longford, with figures of 4-6 in the second.
BUNDALAGUAH replaced Collegians at the top of the ladder with a win over Maffra at Colin Wrigglesworth Oval.
The Eagles entered the day in a disastrous position at 1-0, before eventually falling 50 runs short.
Maffra’s top order capitulation had a large say in the result, as the first five batsmen could only manage 24 runs between them. When the scoreboard read 5-32, the match was as good as gone for the visitors, who salvaged some pride through the efforts of Brett Lanigan (32) and Josh Davis (22).
For the Bulls, speedster Lachlan Floyd took 5-35, and Cloete Buitendag finished with 3-52.
THE name Rohan was a feature of the match between Rosedale-Kilmany and Sale, as both sides had batsmen carrying that name scoring centuries.
After Rohan Blandford made 104 for Sale on day one to see the Swans post 220, RK’s Rohan Diamond also piled on the runs, notching up 102 in what was his 150th senior match for the club.
Needing to bat the majority of the day to be in with a show, the Warriors lost two early wickets before captain Brad Scott (43) and Tom Love (26) got things back on track.
With the score at 4-90, Diamond did most of the damage from thereon in, as he remained not out in the finish to see RK win with a total of 8-229 from 84 overs.
Sale’s best bowlers were Matt Raidal (3-35) and Ben Jones (2-70).
The Warriors’ win sees them draw level with Sale on five victories, with both in the midst of a tight squeeze along with Boisdale-Briagolong.