REIGNING premier Rochester United called the shots against Cooma with a comfortable win in Saturday’s blockbuster Goulburn Murray Cricket clash.
Batting first, Cooma found runs hard to come by, struggling to 6/136 off its 45 overs.
Most productive batsmen for Cooma were Liam Barrett and emerging talent Sam Langley with 42 and 40 not out respectively.
United chased down its target in 36.2 overs with Sean Williams (49) and Tim Bubb (43) producing a match-winning 90 runs for the third wicket.
■TONGALA bounced back from its loss to Cooma the previous week with a commanding win over Echuca.
Tongala’s bowlers led by Adam Nunn and Darin Ohlsen were able to contain Echuca to 6/140.
Nunn who took 2/15 off nine overs and Ohlsen with 2/29 then stepped up with the bat to steer Tongala to a six wickets win in 34 overs.
Ohlsen with 24 and Jordan Souter, who was promoted up the list and made 37, got Tongala away to a sound start with an opening stand of 46.
Then Nunn with a dominant half century secured the win for Tongala in 34.3 overs.
Nunn struck eight boundaries in his unbeaten knock of 53 in which he faced only 61 balls.
Tongala’s win made it six wins from its last seven games and has it sitting in fifth spot on the ladder but equal with third placed Fire Brigade and fourth placed Cooma.
■FIRE Brigade imports Henry Charlton and Sam Kershaw had a big hand in their team’s win over BLU at Kyabram’s Northern Oval.
Three wicket hauls from opening bowlers Shannon O’Brien and Brodie Unwin restricted BLU to 8/148 and then Charlton and Kershaw stepped up with the bat.
After an opening stand of 21 with Brett Andison, Charlton then partnered Kershaw to add 92 for the second wicket. Kershaw and Jayden Rosin then polished off the runs to secure the eight wicket victory for the loss of only two wickets.
Charlton’s 44 included five fours and a six while Kershaw hit seven boundaries in his unbeaten knock of 55.
Rosin finished unbeaten on 30 and with Kershaw steered The Flames to victory with an unbeaten 35 runs stand for the third wicket.
The win lifted The Flames to third place, equal with fourth placed Cooma and fifth placed Tongala and they meet battler Echuca South when the season resumes with a two-day game on January 6.
■STANHOPE’S decision to bat first backfired in a loss to second placed Moama.
The home side was 4/29 and 8/71 but finally scrambled 138 due mainly to a late fighting stand between Jon Pearson and Nav Gill for the ninth wicket.
Pearson top scored with 37 and Gill contributed 25 but Stanhope’s only other contributor with the bat was skipper Mick Coad with 22.
Moama didn’t get it all its own way in reply, losing five wickets but another fine Layton McCann knock steered his side home.
McCann made 64 and with Alex Heaton with 2/20 were the most successful Stanhope bowlers.
■IN THE remaining game Echuca South was belted by Rochester Tigers, out for just 68 in 36.1 overs with Kevin Gillin claiming 4/21 off nine overs.
Tigers covered South’s score for the loss of only one wicket with opener Tony Griffiths (29 not out) and Jake Wright (35 not out) polishing off the runs with an unbeaten 61 runs second wicket stand.
TONGALA lost just two wickets claiming victory over Rochester Tigers to keep itself in the finals race.
With Clayton Thompson and Travis Johnstone both taking three wickets, Tongala bowled out the Tigers in 33.1 overs.
In reply Tongala was battling at 2/14 but Elijah Gillie and Clayton Thompson ensured the win with a third wicket stand of 65.
Promising all-rounder Thompson completed another big match by top scoring with 45 while Gillie supplied the support with 34.
■COOMA was no match for Moama, making just 101 in reply to the host’s impressive 8/211.
It could have been worse for Cooma but for Tom Holman’s aggressive knock of 36 off 33 balls
■GIRGARRE was no match for second placed Fire Brigade who lost just two wickets in securing the win.
Batting first Girgarre scrambled 96 with Rhys Febey (28) and number nine Scott Udal with 30 preventing an even more embarrassing scoreline as Jarrod Chapman with 3/4 off eight overs again led a dominant Brigade attack.
In reply openers Lachy Price (33) and Anthony De Pasquale (22) got The Flames off to a good start before the consistent Jake Gascoyne with an unbeaten 33, with five boundaries, ensured the win.
■IN THE other two games top side Northern United was too good for Echuca while Rochester United cruised to an easy win over Echuca South.
RUSHWORTH lost its spot in the top six after a heavy loss to Echuca South.
Echuca South compiled a healthy 4/196 off its 40 overs but the Rushworth batsmen couldn’t dominate the South attack and struggled 6/125.
Of this total Peter Francis made 49 and opener Sam Hitchcock 34.
■NORTHERN United had the better of Girgarre in their clash at Mathoura.
Batting first Girgarre was bowled out in 37 overs for 109 with opener Richard Morris with 30 the main contributor.
In reply Northern United covered the Girgarre score in 30 overs with Jason Varcoe with 3/29 the most successful of the visiting bowlers.
■BOTTOM side Cooma put up a game but losing fight against third placed Echuca.
With Chris Tindale cracking a half century in the middle order, Cooma posted a handy 9/150.
Echuca had some anxious moments edging to the win with just two wickets in hand with Tindale completing a good match with two wickets.
■KYABRAM Fire Brigade’s 8/178 was too tall of an order for Rochester United, out for 125 in 40 overs while BLU had the better of Rochester Tigers in the remaining game.
Moama won on forfeit from Stanhope
FIRE Brigade White was given a tough fight by Cooma before collecting the premiership points.
Richard Mawley was the mainstay in the Brigade innings, contributing 61 with six fours and a six as The Flames posted 9/174.
Cooma opener Brenton Brasier (30), Ryan Hatch (36) and veteran Mark Tenace (23) led a brave Cooma batting bid which came up just nine short of its target.
■RUSHWORTH held second place on the ladder with an easy win over Tongala.
With Sam Dearing and Regan Hanson both grabbing three wickets for Rushworth Tongala was dismissed for just 62 in 29 overs.
Then Zac Dearing with 43, which included six fours and two sixes, and Callan Chillingsworth (23) polished off the runs to secure the Rushworth win by eight wickets.
Fire Brigade Red’s score of 72 left it well short in its clash with Moama.
Justin Hooper’s 20 was the best effort from the Brigade batsmen and although 3/13 in reply at one stage Moama lost only two more wickets in taking the win in just over nine overs.
■IN THE remaining game Echuca had a decisive win over BLU.