• A Grade Division 1
INVERLOCH has chased down a mammoth first innings total at the Korumburra Rec against OMK to secure their place in the A Grade Division 1 grand final.
OMK batted superbly on day one posting 8/365 from their 90 overs with Jesse Van Rooye making a top notch 106 not out.
It all began at the top for the Diggers with openers Adam Miller and Tommy Wyatt getting to 0/90 before Lewie Rankin found the edge of Wyatt dismissing the in-form bat of the competition for 50.
Rankin struck again soon after trapping Miller in front for 38 and when captain Daniel Mock followed almost immediately for just 4 runs Lewie and the Stingrays had their tails up with the scoreboard reading 3/112.
English import Callum Honeyman and Jason Wilson then teamed up to put the Diggers right back in the game with a solid 80 run partnership.
Tim Thornby then took an absolute screamer on the boundary to dismiss Honeyman for 62 and the Stingrays looked in control at 5/198.
But a defiant Jesse Van Rooye stood tall at number 6 and put together a terrific innings in the middle order with a mixture of good cricket shots along with some power hitting to get the Diggers to what seemed like an insurmountable score of 8/385.
The Rankin brothers, Lewie and Will, bowled a combined 56 overs for the Stingrays with captain Kit Rotthier going down with food poisoning and Dave Newman still recovering from a leg injury he sustained at Country Week unable to bowl their usual amount of overs. Lewie was the pick of the bunch with 3/101 off 27 overs.
It was going to take something special for Inverloch to get over the line with rain taking its toll on the game. Only a win would do. A drawn result would have meant OMK would progress to the grand final.
Losing eight overs due to a delayed start didn’t deter the Stingrays with Brett Debono 133 and Dave Newman 147 both batting with pure class.
Debono was at his damaging best with 13 fours and five sixes while the ever reliable Newman blasted 20 fours as the Stingrays chased the unchaseable in just 82 overs with Newman remaining unbeaten in one of the best LDCA knocks in recent memory.
Club by the skin of their teeth
Wonthaggi Club have survived an onslaught from Phillip Island to book their spot in the grand final, fending off the overs nine wickets down to hang on for a draw.
Day one was all about one man, the Sharks’ Eli Richards, who made a superb 110 as the Island posted a defendable 248.
Fighting back from 2/9 early on, Richards batted right through the innings as he watched his teammates fall around him.
Number 10 Matt Dennerley 54 teamed up with Richards to add vital runs at the tail to give the Sharks all the momentum heading into day two.
James Sheerin was the pick of the Club bowlers claiming 3/94 off his 27 overs.
With rain falling heavily in the morning the game was reduced to 75 overs with an early lunch break taken.
Dennerley struck early for the Sharks removing Sam Huitema’s off stump which saw young Club all-rounder Alex Geyer come to the crease.
Geyer 32 and Mitch Thomas 29 teamed up to get the game flowing for Club until Thomas was caught off the bowling of Jona Watts.
The wickets continued to fall for Club who slumped to 6/94 at tea, losing Daniel Turton right on the cusp of the break.
James Sheerin and Jake Wallace batted for an extended period, ticking overs off the board until Sheerin was bowled by opposing captain Eli Richards and the fightback looked dead.
Another two quick wickets to spinner Charith Keerthisinghe saw Club on the ropes at 9/135 with 15 overs still to play.
Mark McCall and number 11 Zane Macdermid were left to battle it out and survive, with the field crowded around the bat and the Sharks supporters becoming vocal.
The tail end combination got the job done, surviving the all-out attack from the Sharks and scraping through to the grand final.