Boisdale-Briagolong wins, as Stratford loses on the last ball again

THERE were some dramatic changes to the Sale- Maffra cricket ladder following the weekend's results.

Bundalaguah has caught a few teams napping and has seemingly appeared from nowhere to jump from fifth to second in the space of a week, while Collegians dropped two spots and is out of the top four following a loss to ladder leader Sale.

The Swans are now four games clear of their nearest challenger and have a home final locked in. A number of teams will also be keeping an eye on Rosedale-Kilmany after another win to the Warriors kept them on track to continue their steady rise to a possible finals berth.

The big story of the round, however, was Boisdale-Briaglong, which upset the applecart by defeating Stratford in a result which could have huge repercussions in a few weeks time.

It was double deja vu for Stratford, which lost off the final ball for the second game in a row.

The Redbacks again saw the six points snatched from their palm as Boisdale-Briagolong scampered the winning run with one wicket in hand.

After electing to bat first, Stratford fell to 3-10 as Saints spearhead Todd Mann put a lot of balls in the right area. Mann had the two Boltons back in the pavilion early, with Dylan falling leg before wicket and Lewis clean bowled for a golden duck.

Jonathan Beech also picked up a key wicket, dismissing the damaging Chris Aurisch.

Stratford co-coaches Jack Riestchel and Taylor Tatterson set about patching up the sinking ship, as the left handers put on 52 for the fourth wicket.

Tatterson played a determined hand and batted the majority of the innings, as he and Ben Channing combined for a 107-run partnership.

Third grade captain Channing found himself in the firsts because of an injury to regular wicketkeeper Cormac Hassett, and proved he still has plenty to offer by scoring an unbeaten 63 from 66 balls.

Opening bowler Jonny Lash was promoted to number seven to pinch hit, and performed his task to perfection. Lash struck three sixes in his 17-ball innings of 31 not out.

Tatterson was the side's top scorer with 86, in what was his second knock in the 80s against Boisdale-Briagolong this season.

Stratford concluded its allotted overs with 5-211 on the board.

Mann collected 2-28 from eight overs, while Liam Hurst bowled tidily for a one-day game, conceding 16 runs in four overs.

After a few testing weeks, Boisdale-Briagolong rejigged its batting order to try and find a winning combination.

Stephen Noble was sent from the bottom to the top and responded with an attacking 27 from 31 balls to set a positive tone.

The Saints got to 39 without loss, but were 3-47 not long after as Jake Rietschel dismissed the first three batsmen. The left arm quick had Noble snicked off and then sent Robert Entwistle and Beech's stumps flying.

Experienced duo Tom Langshaw and Toby Leeds set about getting the side back on track, and put on 64 for the fourth wicket.

Langshaw scored 38 from 44 balls, while Leeds continued on and batted with the incoming batsman down the order.

Langshaw's dismissal set-up a pulsating final 18 overs, as Boisdale-Briagolong needed 101 and Stratford required six wickets.

With the field spread, the Saints picked up singles and twos as most boundaries, normally accessible via slog sweeps and lofted drives, were blocked off.

Consecutive fours from Leeds to begin the 27th over got Boisdale-Briaglong to 6-150 as he and Nick Sandison appeared set after putting on 28.

Sandison sacrificed his wicket and was run out, keeping Leeds in to set-up an assault with eight overs to go. Leeds backed the incoming batsman to see a few balls, as the Saints continued to pinch whatever runs they could find.

With six overs to go, Stratford had the Saints nine down, meaning number 11 Kallan Randle would have to come out and face the music.

Randle, who's highest score for the season had been two, hit the first ball he faced from Stratford quick Jonny Lash to the fence before seeing out the rest of the over.

The equation became 21 off 30 with one wicket in hand, as anxious Boisdale-Briagolong players could barely watch.

With pace on from both ends, Leeds kept the strike after taking a single from the final ball of the 36th, before the next over went for 11 as Lash bowled a wide and was hit for six off the sixth ball by Leeds.

Randle then played out a maiden in the next over, meaning Boisdale-Briagolong needed six runs from the final six balls.

Leeds took one off the first ball, and then a dot followed, before he and Randle were able to get back for two from the third.

Randle then sprinted down the other end with a single off the fourth, meaning Leeds had potentially two balls to win the game.

Showing faith in his partner, Leeds took the single from the second last ball to tie the game, leaving the number 11 Randle with the biggest challenge of his batting career.

Some final words and a glove punch were exchanged, as Randle faced up with the chance to make himself a Boisdale-Briagolong hero.

With Lash steaming in, Randle was able to get bat on ball as the pair scampered through to claim the winning run.

Wild scenes erupted shortly after, as Randle and Leeds soaked up the emotion of a truly memorable victory.

Leeds remained not out on 81 and calculated the chase within an inch of its life, and ran four threes in the final few overs to ensure he kept the strike at crucial times.

The win gave Boisdale-Briagolong something to celebrate and may have severely derailed Stratford's momentum as the finals approach.

Jake Rietschel took 3-60 for the Redbacks and Dylan Bolton 2-39.