THE Mornington Peninsula Cricket Association District competition launched the new year in exciting fashion on Saturday.
With some very important one-day games taking place, where top sides were pitted against those outside of the top bracket, the results could really shape the season.
What the result did do was further tighten up the gap between third place and eighth place.
Wins to Red Hill and Mt Martha further entrenched them into the top bracket, however, losses to Delacombe Park and Flinders really threw the season wide open again.
Rosebud set Delacombe Park just 140 runs for victory after skipper Billy Quigley hit 50 and Jason Mathers scored 28 in their 40 overs. Andrew Stapleton was the pick of the Parkers’ bowlers with 3/38 from 10 overs.
In reply, Jon Guthrie played a lone hand with 67 as the Parkers’ were bowled out for 124 in the 39th over. Ricky Ramsdale was the only other bat to score double figures with 20. Geoff Glaum picked up 3/22 from eight overs while Jason Nagel and Quigley took two wickets each.
Flinders had a big test against Mt Martha and failed, losing by four wickets.
The Sharks were sent into bat after losing the toss and limped to 105 in 39.1 overs. At one stage the visitors were 6/38. Blake Hogan Keogh regained his early-season form for Flinders with 67, including three sizes.
In reply, Riley Shaw hit 39 for Mt Martha and Kane Hawkins hit 28 as the Reds reached the total in 36.5 overs. Matt Burns was the best of the Flinders’ bowlers with 3/32.
Simon Dart was up to his old tricks for Red Hill again on Saturday, steering his side to victory against Baden Powell with an unbeaten 73.
The Braves batted first and made 154 in 40 overs with Travis Kellerman scoring 36 and Coen Chernishoff 33. Lincoln Toy bagged 4/23 from seven overs for Red Hill while Glenn Collett chipped in with 2/30 from 10 overs.
Matthew Merrifield then opened with 43 for the Hillmen, Dart was still there at the end on 73 and Brent Martin contributed 23 to hand the visitors victory with six overs to spare.
Heatherhill was made to work hard against Rye for victory.
Rye made an impressive 161 in 38 overs after winning the toss and batting first with Steven Gale opening with 39 in his first game, Andrew Hitchener scoring 51 and Tom Baron adding 20. Matty Meagher was the stand-out bowler for the Hills with 5/15.
The Hills had no issues getting the 162 needed for victory though, getting them with seven overs to spare. Steven O’Donnell hit an unbeaten 60 and Christian Heath was not out as they chased the total to finish at 3/163.
Main Ridge got a very important win against Seaford Tigers, chasing down the Tigers’ 6/156 after David James hit 81.
Shaun Foster hit 76 and Travis Barker 41 to get the Ridge away to a flier with a 124-run opening stand. The Ridge finished at 3/160 after 37 overs.
Seaford picked up an important win against Boneo, keeping them from relegation issues.
Boneo batted first and made 119, before Seaford got the runs with just one wicket down in 22.3 overs.