PROVINCIAL: THE make-up of the MPCA Provincial ladder will not be decided until the conclusion of this weekend’s final home and away clash.
While Sorrento and Mornington have locked away the top two places on the ladder, the race for third and fourth place is on.
Long Island currently sits third after thrashing Langwarrin at Ballam Park on Saturday. The Islanders are on 84 points, a game clear of fourth-placed Mt Eliza, fifth-placed Baxter and Langwarrin in sixth.
The Mounties, Baxter and Langwarrin are all on 72 points and are separated marginally by percentage (1.2525, 1.2162 and 1.2030 respectively).
Mt Eliza had a great chance to grab a finals place on Saturday but couldn’t defend its 265 against Moorooduc.
Baxter had a massive chance to get an outright win against Heatherhill but failed, while Langwarrin couldn’t hunt down the 142 runs needed for victory against the Islanders.
The whole season will come down to one day’s cricket this Saturday.
Mt Eliza and Long Island should make it.
Mt Eliza has the easiest of the matches for the final game against Mt Martha. The Reds are on the bottom of the ladder and while they’ll make one last-ditch effort to avoid relegation, they’ll likely be no match for the Mounties.
Langwarrin faces Moorooduc, which ran down 268 to beat Mt Eliza in a thriller.
Long Island has to travel to Sorrento and Baxter faces Mornington at the kennel. The safe bet would be for the top two teams of the competition to win those clashes.
However, any bowling attack that has Andrew Tweddle and Scott Phillips in it must be considered a reasonable chance to win.
Langwarrin was bowled out for 66 by Long Island on Saturday, following on from its 140 the match before against Crib Point.
Coming off a full week of representing the MPCA at Country Week, Phillips and Tweddle tore through the Kangas, bowling 27 overs each and both picking up five-wicket hauls.
“Phillipsitis” was predicted for Langwarrin and that’s exactly what happened. The right-arm quick snared Danny Weare for 4, Ben Wells for 8 and Andy Johnson for 1 to turn the match on its head. Phillips finished with 5/31.
Tweddle then took three of the final four wickets to finish with figures of 5/32.
Moorooduc was in some real trouble early in the match against Mt Eliza at 6/138, but Jarryd Bailey guided his team home with an unbeaten 77, his second big score in as many matches.
Nick Williams was also integral in the win, picking up his second half century in two matches with 55.
When Sushant Gupta was sent packing, the Mounties appeared to be in the box seat with the score 8/229. However, Reece Cordeaux (24) hung around long enough with Bailey to get within three runs of victory. Bailey then scored the winning runs on the fifth ball of the 83rd over.
Baxter needed just nine wickets on day two of its match to pick up an outright win against Heatherhill.
After bowling the Hills for 85 on day one of the match and smacking a quick-fire 3/133, Baxter resumed with the visitors on 1/17. However, Heatherhill resisted and finished on 6/147, Nathan Martin scoring an unbeaten 70.
Ryan O’Connor took 4/32 and Nick Davern 3/62 in Sorrento’s big win over Crib Point.
After making 4/330, Sorrento rolled the Magpies for 177.
Mt Martha and Rye went head to head to avoid relegation on Saturday. Rye won the match on first innings, scoring 7/133 in reply to Mt Martha’s 99.