beesey-steers-miners-homeLeongatha Town’s A Grade skipper for the day Matt Davies crunches a boundary against OMK on Saturday. N084014

• A Grade Division 1

THE Wonthaggi Miners have made a triumphant return to A Grade Division 1 with an upset win against flag fancies Inverloch at Inverloch on Saturday.
Veteran Darren Beesey was the hero for the Miners. His 57 took his team to within a whisker of the win before Ryan Birkett and Ben Foon added the finishing touches.
The Miners ended up at 7/184, four runs ahead of the target Inverloch set earlier in the day, when new Inverloch skipper Kit Rotthier led the way with an unbeaten 90 batting at number four.
Inverloch’s 3/180 would have been considered a more than defendable score, given how slow the Inverloch Recreation Reserve was due to rehabilitation works.
And after a shaky start to the run chase and a middle order collapse, the Miners seemed out of it before Beesey saved the day.
In another minor upset, Leongatha Town scored what was in the end comfortable win against last year’s grand finalists OMK at Scorpion Park.
Town’s Amila Ratnaike just made it back for the game after flying in from Sri Lanka. He defied jetlag to produce a sizzling opening spell that produced three wickets, all well caught behind by stand-in keeper Jareth Hume. Amila ended with five scalps.
OMK recovered from the early jitters thanks to a partnership between the ever-reliable Adam Miller who made an entertaining 38 and Jason Wilson who was undefeated on 76 when the 40 overs were up and his team was on 9/162.
Recruit Zack Trease bowled tightly for the Scorpions but without a wicket, while stand-in skipper for the day Matt Davies also did well with the pill.
The Scorpions’ run chase started well with Jay Withers and Nathan Johnston putting on 51 before Withers was out for 28. Johnston went on to make 75 to get his team well within reach of the total before Ratnaike and Davies completed the job with six wickets and plenty of overs to spare.
Peter Dell was the pick of the OMK bowlers. He bowled without luck early but came back and snared two wickets later.
Nerrena rolled the Imperials in a high scoring local derby at the fast East Campus.
Nerrena won the toss and batted and were ticking along nicely with new captain Mitch Clark in control on his way to 65.
Things went from nice to ridiculously good when Damien Symmons got cracking. He smashed 95 which included seven fours and eight sixes as the Red Caps reached 5/241. Ryan Clark also started the season well with an unbeaten 42.
The Imperials had a crack at the run chase with Rohan McLennan falling just short of a half century and recruit Chris Silkstone making 40. Ryan Higgins had some fun at the end with a quick 50 but his side still fell 23 runs short.
The Wonthaggi Workmen’s had a big win against Phillip Island with Tim Hooper, Gav Britt and Mitch Thomas all making scores as the Workers set 4/246.
The young Island side made a promising start to the run chase with Eli Richards and Richard Evans batting well, but a dramatic collapse saw the Islanders lose 9/29 and be all out for 103 in 29 overs.
The wickets were shared.