Josh Trease of Nerrena hurried the demise of Imperials taking an economical 3/36 off 18 overs. He was backed up in the field by the likes of his captain Damien Symmons who completed a fine run-out from the outfield. m791114
Cricket: A Grade, Division 1.
UNPRECEDENTED drama has finished the LDCA’s A Grade Division 1 season after Leongatha Town missed a finals berth by a solitary run after tying with OMK.
The tie not only cost Town a spot in the final four but also the Diggers top spot on the ladder, dropping to second behind the Wonthaggi Workmens.
Despite winning over the Imperials, Nerrena, who moved into fourth position and the semi-finals, had all but accepted their fate of missing the finals – with captain/coach Damien Symmons giving his post-match acknowledgements for another season.
Anyone in Symmons’ position would have done the same with word filtering from West Campus to the Leongatha Turf at tea that the Scorpions needed just 15 runs with four wickets remaining.
But the Red Caps’ post-mortem drinks quickly turned to planning to take on the Workers this weekend after one of the most dramatic finishes to a game and season in recent times.
After a shaky start to their run chase which required 165 for the win, Town settled into the contest with Matt Borschman and Jake Burge at the crease.
Borschman’s 39, 36 from Amila Ratnayake, 31 from Matt Smith and 23 from Burge had the home side well on the way to the win.
With the Red Caps getting a win over the Imps, it was a simple equation for the Scorpions who simply needed to win to keep their season alive for another week.
Two wickets on the cusp of tea didn’t help their cause, but 15 runs with four wickets in hand is usually a more than achievable feat.
Town’s Jareth Hume hit a boundary before he was bowled by a Barry Wyatt yorker and Nathan Johnston eased the pressure with a six and a single before he suffered the same demise.
The Scorpions then required two runs with two wickets remaining in an edge of the seat finish. The OMK bowlers, Wyatt and Peter Dell, then dried up the runs with Town stuck on 163 for about four overs.
Ash Hickey survived a massive shout from the Diggers for LBW before he was given out by the same method one ball later with the batsman and Town faithful adamant the ball hit his bat before the pad.
Two runs – one wicket.
Town’s Scott Browne then squeezed a ball behind square which was headed for the rope if not for the fielding of Kris Kerr who kept it to a single running from short fine leg across to square leg.
One run – one wicket.
Wyatt then capped of a brilliant spell by getting number 11 Luke Smith out LBW on a ball that stayed low, leaving the scores at 164 apiece and costing the home side a finals spot after losing 6/30 at the death.
Wyatt finished with 3/16 off 10.4 and Nathan Cant claimed 2/16 from six for the Diggers in one of the most memorable matches in years.
IN OTHER matches, Nerrena won their way into the semi-final with a 32-run win over the Imps at Leongatha Turf.
Defending 137, the Red Caps managed to bowl the Imps out for 106. Josh Trease was the best with the ball taking 3/36 from 16 while Renish Joy and Ryan Clark picked up two wickets each. Joe O’Loughlin top scored for the Imps with 41.
THE Wonthaggi Workers claimed top spot and the vital finals upper-hand should rain become a factor with a win over Phillip Island at Butch West Oval. Chasing 129, the Workers restarted at 0/13 and got to 6/189 with Tim Hooper top scoring with 56.
INVERLOCH had no trouble in overcoming the now relegated Korumburra at Thompson Reserve.
After making their biggest total of the year last week with 282, the Stingrays had the Cobras out for 153. Dylan Clark added to his season’s tally with 4/37 from 17 overs and Kit Rotthier picked up 3/20 from 10 for the home side. Udara Weerasinghe top scored with 35 for the Cobras.
The weekend’s results sets up matches with the Workers and Nerrena while OMK will take on Inverloch this Saturday and Sunday.