A low-scoring thriller between Central Park-St Brendan’s and Shepparton United fell to the former on Saturday, but only just.
The Tigers claimed victory by just one wicket as Lightfoot medallist Rohan Larkin guided his side home with an unbeaten 20 batting at number nine.
United had first managed just 97 as the home side ripped through their batting order, with only Damon Zampaglione (30 not out) showing any sort of resistance.
Tyrone Bradley was the main destroyer with 3-23 from eight overs, while Rhiley Lau (2-10) and Nathan Berry (2-23) also struck multiple times with the ball.
It was a similar story when the Tigers took to the batting crease though, with wickets falling at regular intervals.
Larkin’s cameo was decisive and proved the match-winning knock, while Berry (17), Callum Whitehead (13) and Jack McCarten (10) were the only other players to pass double figures.
Matt Barclay (4-23), Travis Blackwell (2-5) and captain Dwain Vidler (2-23) did their best to defend the small total, but in the end simply did not have enough to bowl at.
‘‘To get that close I was probably disappointed to lose in the end, but I was really proud of the boys to battle on right to the end even though we only made 90-odd,’’ Vidler said.
‘‘I think all the bowlers bowled really well, but young Ethan McLaren bowled a really good spell in his first A-grade match.’’
Tigers captain Ramadan Yze was happy with the win, but furious with his side’s batting performance.
‘‘It’s a win I suppose at the end of the day, but not a win I was happy about. We batted poorly and the boys know about it,’’ he said.
‘‘We fielded and bowled well, but our batting let us down dramatically.
‘‘We all batted like millionaires and thought we could play whatever shot we wanted, myself included.’’
The debut of twins Andrew and Aidan Lloyd, 15, was a highlight for Yze, as was the youth of his side in general.
‘‘Having the young kids keeps us older blokes younger and keeps us on our toes,’’ he said.
‘‘It definitely makes the day go quicker, and it was good for those young boys to get their first win.’’