WITH finals well and truly on the line in MPCA District cricket, every game is important for every team as we head for the finish line for the season.
Whilst Baden Powell and Red Hill are safe at the top of the table, the scramble for the final two places has been left between five clubs.
Heatherhill is one of those clubs fighting for a spot in the four and after day one against bottom of the table Boneo, they are on target to collect maximum points (20) for an outright win.
Knowing full well that an outright opportunity beckoned, the Hills with Neil Martin at the helm, played their cards very strategically in a bid to get the desired result.
They won the toss and batted first, with Kristian Miller hitting a team-high score of 45. However, after just 21 overs, the Hills declared their innings and sent Boneo into bat.
The Pandas batted for 58.4 overs for a return of 111 runs.
Jake Theobald was the best of the bowlers with 4/22, giving him 25 wickets across the various formats for the season.
Ben Davies, who made his debut last week, backed up his strong first efforts with 3/22 from 16 overs.
Baden Powell was restricted to one of its lowest scores of the season against third-placed Pearcedale.
While Travis Kellerman continued his purple patch with the bat making 77 at the top of the innings, the rest of the top order, for a change, failed to fire a shot.
Chris Dew was simply outstanding for the Panthers with 7/42 from 26 overs, including nine maidens. He removed the top four batsmen, including the in-form Tom Wood and Rhys Elmi.
The Panthers batted the final three overs for the day without loss.
A Pearcedale win would be massive for the competition and really open up the premiership race.
Delacombe Park’s season still has a flicker of hope and they are in a sensational position against Seaford Tigers.
The Tigers won the toss and sent Delacombe into bat. The visitors made 175 in 50.5 overs with Rowan Charles top scoring with 46 and Shane Deal getting 39.
Jordan Watters was the best of the Tigers’ bowlers with three wickets.
In reply, the Tigers are in a world of pain at 5/72. Deal, who remains the most underrated cricketer in the MPCA, has 2/17.
Flinders is currently in fourth place on the ladder but that won’t be the case at 6.10pm this Saturday night after day one of the match against Red Hill.
The Sharks need to chase down 304 to beat the Hillmen. That simply won’t happen.
On Saturday, Simon Dart helped himself to another century for Red Hill, the skipper scoring 108. Rheede Hopgood scored 57 and Andrew Mock chimed in with 35 at the end when the score was already settled. Shane Beggs bowled 14 overs for the Sharks and picked-up 3/54.
With the likes of Lincoln Toy and Glenn Collett headlining the Red Hill attack, 304 is well out of Flinders’ reach.
Mt Martha and Main Ridge are out of the race for finals but remain engaged in a duel at Ferrero Reserve.
The Reds sent Main Ridge into bat first and the visitors made 165 in 74 overs. Gareth Wyatt top scored with 34. Curtis Stone was the pick of the Mt Martha bowlers with 3/24 from 16 overs.
Kyle Bendle and Jake Smart each collected two wickets.
In reply, Mt Martha faced the final six overs of the day and lost Alex Mason along the way. They’ll resume at 1/9.