SALE-MAFFRA’s hopes of claiming a third straight Gippsland Cricket League senior premiership came to a grinding halt on Sunday.
The Sharks’ 2020-21 GCL campaign ended with barely a whimper, after being soundly beaten for the second time from as many starts.
Playing Bairnsdale at Bundalaguah, Sale-Maffra got away to a steady start, with Cormac Hassett and Ben Jones putting on 28 for the opening wicket.
The dismissal of Hassett set off a chain reaction, as the next four wickets fell for just seven runs.
A direct hit run-out by Brayden McCarrey saw Sale-Maffra fall to 5-35, and from there the Sharks were playing catch-up trying to rescue the innings.
Captain Josh Davis dug in and scored a determined 43 batting with the lower order, and was the last man out as the Sharks posted 135. Davis and Jake Wynd combined for a 49-run partnership for the eighth wicket to save Sale-Maffra from total embarrassment, with Wynd scoring a handy 24.
Ricky Tatnell took the first two wickets of the game, and finished with exceptional figures of 3-24 from 10 overs with two maidens. Chris Hammond claimed 3-28, combining with wicket keeper Reagan Kyle who gloved two stumpings, while Steve Bertino took 2-22.
Despite losing an early wicket, Bairnsdale chased the required total with relative ease, getting home with six wickets in the shed and more than eight overs to spare. Alex Hulme scored an unbeaten 60 to lead the way for the visitors.
Davis flicked the ball around looking for a breakthrough, but only Ben Jones, with figures of 2-20, was able to have much success.
The result means the loser of the match between Leongatha and Latrobe Valley next round will play Sale-Maffra in the consolation final. For Bairnsdale, it will play Traralgon to decide which team gets a home semi-final.
WARRAGUL stormed into the semi-finals after taking care of Leongatha at Scorpian Park.
The Wilddogs were again methodical in their chase, getting over the line in the penultimate over.
Warragul has now earned the right to host the semi-final, and will play the loser of the last regular season game between Bairnsdale and Traralgon.
IT was a case of one-man-shows in the under 18s match between Bairnsdale and Sale-Maffra.
Max Welsh scored 74 in Bairnsdale’s total of 142, while Ethan Albrecht made 43 out of Sale-Maffra’s 103.
Bowling honours for the Sharks went to Tom Morrison (3-8), Noah Hurley (2-15) and Albrecht (2-29).
Welsh pencilled himself in for three votes with bowling figures of 4-11 for Bairnsdale, while Randall Stewart took 2-12.
Rain ruined the match between Warragul and Leongatha. Leongatha scored 168 batting first, and looked set to close in on victory as Warragul was 8-143 before the heavens opened.
WINS in the women’s competition went to Sale-Maffra and Bairnsdale.
The Sharks compiled 4-247 batting first against Centrals, with Abby and Megen Wrigglesworth scoring unbeaten half-centuries. Lilly-Mae Lyndon also played well, scoring 35 opening the batting.
Emily Shaw was Central’s best bowler, taking 2-40.
The Lions’ batting never reached any great heights and they were bundled out cheaply.
Chloe Lenehan (3-4) and Tilly Pendergast (2-16) were the Sharks best bowlers.
Bairnsdale was too strong for Latrobe, with Shani Dixon and Lillian Strong taking three wickets each. Connie Barry then ensured the points for Bairnsdale, scoring an unbeaten 25.