MOOROODUC has emerged as the wildcard of MPCA Provincial cricket as we head into the Christmas break, the halfway mark of the 2015-16 season.
While glamour teams in Mornington, Mount Eliza, Somerville and Baxter sit outside the top four, Moorooduc is well entrenched in second place, equal on points (56) with third-placed Crib Point and clear of Sorrento (48). Peninsula Old Boys heads the table on 64 points.
Then we find a logjam of teams all on 44 points (Long Island, Baxter, Somerville, Pines), all poised to strike should any of the top four falter after the break.
It’s a tough, tight season and you need to be at your best for a full day to get the rewards.
Mount Eliza looked to have done enough with the bat on day one of its match against Moorooduc, scoring 233.
Despite being is strife on a number of occasions throughout their innings, the Ducs were able to claw down the score with four overs remaining.
Skipper Leigh Lambert top scored with 54 and helped to set up the foundations for the win with opener Ben Williams (42), while Sam Adams’ (number four) knock of 34 was solid.
However, it was really the cameo performances of Cameron Bailey (31) and Sushant Gupta (38) late in the innings that got Moorooduc the victory.
Sorrento did the unthinkable and chased down Crib Point’s first innings total of 7/317.
Bobby Wilson was sensational, scoring a mammoth 153 in his side’s 5/323 in 77 overs.
Ben Tracy scored 39, Jedd Falck 36 and the returning Leigh Poholke 30 in the win.
It was a must win game for the Sorras, who would have been in eighth position on the ladder with a loss.
Long Island dropped out of the top four with a shock loss against Langwarrin.
Chasing just 179 for victory, the Islanders were bowled out for 133.
Mal Coutts turned back the clock for the Kangaroos, snaring 4/10, while Travis Campbell is really starting to wind up with the pill, taking 4/52.
Scott Phillips top scored for the Islanders with 42 while Peter ‘Potto’ Connell hit 31.
Baxter made extremely light work in their disposal of Somerville.
Ben Brittain, who has played his whole career in the shadow of his brother Chris, stood alone in the limelight in this match, adding 4/31 to his 41 with the bat for Baxter.
With Chamara Sattambi and Dale Irving each taking to wickets, Baxter was able to bowl out the visitors for just 108. At one stage the Eagles were 8/50.
Brenton Alp was Somerville’s only contributor with the bat, top scoring with 40.
Pines completed the expected and picked up an outright victory against Rye.
Pines declared at 7/98 overnight after already bowling Rye out for 80 in the first innings.
The Piners then dismissed Rye for 89 in the second innings before scoring the 74 runs required to win, losing just four wickets along the way.
Pat Jackson finished with match figures of 8/60 with the ball for Pines while also hitting an unbeaten 42. Alex Coad found some form after being in the cricket wilderness for a couple of seasons, snaring 6/72.
Peninsula Old Boys finished the first half of the season on top of the ladder after beating Mornington by five wickets.
Chasing 231 for victory, the Old Boys did it in a canter, scoring the runs just five wickets down and with 27 overs to spare.
Wade Pelzer (89) and Dylan O’Malley (76) set up the win with a 122 run opening partnership, before Will Crowder came in and scored 33 to ensure the victory.