BROWN Hillpotentially played its way into another Ballarat Cricket Association firsts finals series with a domineeringperformance against Wendouree on Saturday.
Dan Davies on his way to two wickets for Brown Hill against Wendouree: Picture: Lachlan Bence
The Bulls, 3-90, arewithin 17 runs of taking first innings points against arguably one of its major threats for back-to-back premierships.
This will give Brown Hill a 10-point break over the Red Caps going into two twenty20 matches in the last week before the Christmas-New Year break.
Although there is still along way to go– four two-day roundsin the new year–captain Ryan Knowles is confident about Brown Hill’s prospects.
Knowles said the Bulls’ plan was to win their two twenty20 matches against East Ballarat and Mt Clear to set up their season.
Althoughnot be over the line, such an outcome would certainly put it in the box seat for finals.
While it was all good news for the Bulls, Wendouree finds itself under pressure.The Red Caps have a powerful batting line-up and to get only 106 on their home ground was well below expectations.
With Mt Clear poised to claim an outright winover Coronet City and Golden Point well inthe hunt against Napoleons-Sebastopol, Wendouree could potentially find itself 10 points outside the top four by the end of this round and with plenty of work to do to bridge the gap.
Knowles was full of praise for his bowlingattack, whichlost the services of Shane Harwood when he pulled up sore after just one over.“We bowled tight–a lot of dot balls. We put the ball in the right spot and made it hard to score.”
He said this had forced Wendouree into making some false shots forward of the wicket as it attempted to force the pace.
Knowles said Tom Bourke-Finn and Jason Knowles had beenimpressive.Knowles took 2-9 off 12 overs and Bourke-Finn 2-16 (14 overs).
Dan Davies was also athis nagging best with 2-21, while Ryan Knowles made the most of turn in a slow wicket to snap up 3-33.Bourke-Finn took 25 wickets last season, but has stepped up again and already has 19.
Wendouree struggled to get batsmen going and was fortunate to get past the century after being 9-74.
Tristan Dixon, 19, was able to spend more than a hour at the crease, but could not get the run rate going at all.
Comeback player David Ellis, 28 (3 fours, 1 six), gave Wendouree’s total some respectability downtheorder.
Not everything went Brown Hill’s way. Wendouree did hit back hard to have the Bulls in trouble too at 3-4, butHarwood,30, (5 fours), and Jason Knowles, 49 (5 fours, 1 six) had the last say. Using attack as the best form of defence, they launched to take the game away from Wendouree in just16 overs.
GOLDEN POINT 1-14 v NAPS-SEBAS 187
at Eastern Oval
A LATE breakthrough has Napoleons-Sebastopol well in the contest despite a battling performance with the bat.
Carman Mapatuna was the anchor in keeping the visitors in the match after a top order collapse at the hands of a different looking Golden Point attack.
The second-placed Pointies had Naps-Sebas in all sorts of trouble at 4-29 and 5-52 before Mapatuna put his stamp on the game with 79 (10 fours, 1 six) off 185 balls in 193 minutes.
He combined with all-rounder Luke Corden, 28, to put on 79 runs for the seventh wicket after an aggressive Tyler Dittloff made 28 (5 fours, 1 six) in almost even time.
Once Mapatuna became one of four victims for Dean Romerill the end came quickly though.
The last four wickets fell for just 16 runs – three to Romerill, who finished with 4-50 in his first two-day firsts appearance for the season.
Opener Andrew Warwick took his season wicket tally to 11 with 2-19 off 15 overs.
Naps-Sebas then did what is needed to do – claim a wicket in seven overs at Golden Point, with two-time centurymaker Dwayne Hiscock going cheaply to Matt Ringin.12.5)
CORONET CITY 48 and 2-68 v MT CLEAR 5-155dec
at Ballarat High School
CORONET City’s despair continues as it faces a third outright loss of the season.
The strrggler still need another 39 seconds innings runs with eight wickets in hand to make the Mounties bat again.
It could and almost was much worse. Coronet City was on its knees at 8-18 – 10 of these made by Brad Dunbar, before Zach Chisolm chimed in with an unbeaten 18.
Dean Hopkinson returned Mounties’ bowling figures of 4-8 off nine overs in an innings which lastest 24 overs.
Ash Gunn picked up 3-9 – give him 15 scalps so far this season.
Mt Clear then smashed 5-155 off just 22 overs.
Jarrod Burns made an unbeaten 45, Matt Ward 39 and Nathan Yates 29 in a twenty20-like outing.
Coronet City made a much better of fist of its second time at bat, getting to 2-68 in 28 overs as Michael Cameron. Jayson Porter, Stuart Squire and Dunbar each reached double figures.
With maximum points beckoning, Mt Clear is well placed to move back to the top of the ladder at the end of this round.
BALLARAT-REDAN 3-51 v NORTH BALLARAT 157
at City Oval
NOTHING less than a win will do Ballarat-Redan if it is to have an chance of getting into the finals race, but has it done enough so far against the Roosters.
They probably did with the ball – restricting North Ballarat to less than 200 in a two-day fixture for only the second time this seasopn.
And it would have been a much lower total without another major contribution from captain-coach Adam Eddy, who made 54 (10 fours) off just 66 balls.
Eddy has been an astute pick up as one of the BCA recruits of the season.
While this is his first half century, Eddy has consistently made important runs in the lower middle roder and oc course been a key with the ball with 14 wickets.
Ryan Plomb, 19 (4 fours), helped North to a steady start, but after losing Matt Zakynthinos at 34 and Ballarat-Redan pounced to claim 5-30.
Eddy and Shannon Ford, 16, put North Ballarat back in the game by adding 63 as the tail wagged.
Jonty Wall marked his return by taking a season-best 4-24 off 12.4 overs, Chris Egan finished with 3-21 and Brendan Thomson, 2-41, took his first wickets for his club.
Ballarat-Redan’s run chase has not started as well as it would have wanted. A lot will sit on the shoulders of Bobby Hind, Jayden Hayes and Zac Jenkins.
EAST BALLARAT 160 v DARLEY 0-3
at Russell Square
BRAD Whittaker played close to the perfect skipper’s knock to ensure East Ballarat had something to bowl at against the form team of the competition.
The only thing Whittaker missed out on was a century as he basically played a solo hand with 90 (10 fours, 1 six).
The Hawks would have been in desperate trouble without him as the wickets tumbled around early to have East Ballarat 2-6 and 4-24.
Whittaker and Mark Shaw, 23, finally provided some stability, adding 89 runs for the fifth wicket.
While they were together East was not badly placed.
Whittaker’s departure ultimately sparked the end though, with the last five wickets lost for 12.
Matt Cape was miserly with the ball, taking 3-9 off 13 overs – nine of which were maidens.
Heath Pritchard was the only multiple wicket-taker, with 2-33.
The first season Darley coach now has a season tally of 21. He is second in the competition to Luke Corden (Napoleons-Sebastopol) on 23.
Darley, which sits on top of the ladder, needed to only face two overs and made it stumps without loss.
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