TONGALA’S march back to a position of power in Goulburn Murray Cricket continued to gain momentum on Saturday when it accounted for regular grand finalist Kyabram Fire Brigade in a tense, low-scoring battle to register its fifth successive win.
The Brigade’s decision to bat in the game at Kyabram’s Northern Oval backfired with The Flames dismissed in 38.1 overs for a disappointing 130.
Tongala’s batsmen made hard work of their chase, losing eight wickets in the process but securing the all-important premiership points — its fifth successive one-day win.
Wickets fell steadily in the Brigade innings as Tongala quick Adam Nunn claimed some top scalps in an inspired spell. He finished with 4/20 off nine overs, with six of his teammates also getting breakthroughs.
The Flames have lower order batsmen Jack Donnell with 24 and Shannon O’Brien with a top score of 26 to thank for providing the bulk of those runs.
In its run chase, Tongala openers Jayden Tucker and Darin Ohlsen gave their side the start it was looking for with a partnership of 47 and the side looked to be cruising at 2/93. But then four wickets fell for just four runs in a Brigade fightback, which left the result in the balance.
But handy knocks from Blake Campbell, Joel Regan and John Copeland got Tongala over the line in a gripping finish with 3.3 overs remaining and two wickets in hand.
Tucker top scored with a controlled 36 that featured four boundaries, and Tongala’s win lifted it into the top four and relegated the Flames to fifth spot.
The Brigade will be looking to restore some confidence this Saturday when it meets Echuca in the start of a two-day clash.
Tongala hosts another in-form side, Cooma, in a bid to make it six wins in a row.
■Cooma further entrenched itself in the top four with a resounding win over bottom side Echuca South.
Chasing Cooma’s healthy total of 8/252 from the opening day, the South batsmen lasted only 55.3 overs in battling to 117.
Michael Hill, with 3/11 of eight overs, and Mitch Barrett, with 3/12 off nine overs, did most damage with the ball but six of the Cooma bowlers claimed at least one wicket.
Cooma batted a second time and didn’t flatter, dipping to 5/81.
■A solid opening stand and a half century from Alex Heaton paved the way for a comfortable win for Stanhope over LBU in a one-day clash at Stanhope.
Openers Matt Evans (28) and Daryl Harrison (23) gave Stanhope a solid start with a partnership of 51 and then Heaton, with his best knock for the club, kept the runs coming with a half century.
But after their dismissals, no other Stanhope batsmen made it to double figures.
But Stanhope’s mediocre final score of 165 was still too much for the BLU batsmen, who were dismissed in 38.4 overs for 131.
Veteran star Greg Pearse made a half century for BLU but got little support, as opening bowler Nav Gill, with 3/29 off nine overs, and Steve Hall, 3/23 off 7.4 overs, and Cameron Smith, 2/21 off nine overs, executed Stanhope’s second win for the season.
■In the other games, Moama, with a half century from opener Anthony McMahon, comfortably covered Rochester Tigers’ score of 128, while Rochester United, with Dylan Cuttriss completing a fine double for the game by capturing 5/40, knocked over Echuca for just 115 runs to record a 108-run victory.
TONGALA emerged winners over Cooma in a low-scoring game.
With promising Clayton Thompson (45) providing the bulk of the runs, Tongala scored a modest 115 against the Cooma attack led by Ben Napier (3/16), while Ethan Palma-Ludeman and Justin Wickham each took two wickets.
But Cooma’s batsmen weren’t up to the challenge, dismissed in 26.1 overs for just 60.
■Led by opener Lee Kempinski, Girgarre notched a good win over Moama.
Kempinski made a dominant 76 as Girgarre posted 156 and then bowled Moama out in 37 overs for 127.
■ Experience came to the fore in Fire Brigade’s crushing win over Rochester Tigers.
Old hands Mick Kent and Ben Langley, both with 45, set the platform for a tidy score, which eventuated when Brendan White opened the shoulders late in the innings to club 79 off 62 balls to send the Brigade’s score soaring to 6/227.
Then the Brigade bowlers led by Jarrod Chapman and Ryan Thomson, both with three wickets, skittled the Tigers for an embarrassing 30 in 21 overs.
Rushworth openers Zac Dearing and Daniel Newton gave their batting teammates the afternoon off after covering Girgarre’s score without the loss of a wicket.
Dearing scored an unbeaten 63 and Newton an unconquered 57, as Stanhope covered Girgarre’s score in 17 overs.
Darren George with 35 and Andrew Melverton with 30 provided the bulk of Girgarre’s score of 5/116.
■Fire Brigade chased down Echuca South’s respectable score of 7/167 in 35 overs.
Andrew Stockdale top scored with 35 and he got enough support from opener Michael Mott (29) Mitch Dunne (27) and a timely 28 from Paul Bugoss to get the Flames over the line.
■Stanhope cruised to a convincing win over Rochester United.
United was bowled out for 87 in 26.1 overs, with Jayke Fisher taking 3/16 and Daniel Bourke 2/12. In reply, Stanhope lost three wickets in surging to victory in 20 overs.
Opener Ben Condell carried his bat for 42 and Daniel Bourke made 26 to ensure the Stanhope win and keep it in the finals hunt.
■ Cooma came up short against Rochester Tigers, but had a crack.
Tigers posted 192, with Chris Tindale picking up 3/31, and in reply Cooma made 159 due mainly to the efforts of Logan Bamford-Phillis, who crashed 10 fours in making 53 and Brenton Brasier with 26.
FIRE Brigade White was on the end of a heavy loss to Moama.
White’s batsmen could manage only 103, with Liam Dillon top scoring with 21, and in reply Moama cruised to 2/117.
■Echuca was too good for Tongala, dismissed for 113 in 28 overs chasing Echuca’s score of 7/179.
■Cooma lost just three wickets in defeating BLU.
BLU was out for 87 in 26.1 overs, with Ben Goodman taking 3/10, and in reply, opener Liam Scopelliti, with an unbeaten 43, guided Cooma to 3/119 – and victory.