A brave Berrigan side were unable to overcome second placed Katunga, going down to the Swans by 18 runs in round 13 of Murray Valley Cricket Division One competition.
After a short rain delay, home side Katunga won the toss and elected to bat.
Jarrod Rankin and Trent Baker opened for the Swans against the Saints opening bowling pair of Zach Nugent and Tom Whelan (0/27 off eight).
Katunga faced some very good line and length bowling from the Saints pair, however luck went Katunga’s way early.
Lachie Pyle was brought into the attack and claimed the first wicket for the Saints, snaring Baker for 18 and the score was 1/39.
Josh Macfayden was the next man in and, with Rankin, scratched another 10 runs to the total, before Fraser Haintz (3/7 off seven) had him caught at point by Nugent for eight and the Swans were now 2/49.
Mitch Doyle (three) joined Rankin in the middle but didn’t last long when Haintz struck again, this time caught by Graeme Parr.
Brad Tweed was next in and with Rankin steadied the ship for Katunga, playing as a secondary role to the opener who started to find a few boundaries.
The two put on 25 before Pyle (2/26 off seven) struck again with a great caught and bowled effort.
With Katunga 4/84, Toby Miles (three) was the next man in.
However he had little impact when his partner Rankin ran him run out by and the score now was 5/97.
Adam Cook came to the crease and had an immediate impact on the scoring rate, looking to hit out as the overs ticked closer to the 40 over mark.
He hit a quick 15 before Nugent (1/29 off eight) claimed a well deserved wicket, picking him up LBW and the score was now 6/120.
With one over remaining, Haintz came back into the attack and manage to claim his third wicket picking up Rankin, who had made a well battled 55, off the last ball and Katunga finished their innings 6/122 after 40 overs.
With the conditions starting to dry the ground and pitch, the Saints were confident of running the Katunga total down.
Andrew Parr and Simon Packer opened the batting for the Saints against the Katunga opening bowling pair of Miles and Dylan Baker.
Parr (eight) and Packer started well picking up singles and twos before an early bowling change saw the former caught at gully off the bowling of Trent Baker (1/13 off four) and the Saints were 1/11.
Nugent joined Packer in the middle and the two continue to tick the score over for the Saints.
Packer started to see the ball well after a superb straight drive for four, before another bowling change saw Ben Whitford (1/11 off three) claiming Packer (10) caught behind off his second delivery and the Saints were now 2/34.
Whelan was the next man in for the Saints and started slowly as Nugent started to ramp up the run rate.
Nugent controlled the strike picking up plenty of singles and twos; the complete opposite to his normal scoring shots.
The two saw the Saints to drinks, however shortly after the break Whelan (five) got a leading edge and was caught off the bowling of Dylan Baker (1/14 off eight) for five with the Saints 3/63 and still in a comfortable position.
Pyle was the next man in and the Swans bowling started to tighten up with some excellent line and length.
The Berrigan batsmen found it hard to score runs as the Swans’ bowlers constricted the Saints to just singles and the odd two.
Nugent continued to battle away until he got to his 50 — including one ‘four’ and two ‘sixes’ — but on 51 he holed out in the deep to Shaun McAllister (5/25 off eight) and the Saints were now 4/90.
Haintz joined Pyle in the middle and the two continued to tick the score over for the Saints, but boundaries were needed to up the run rate.
The two put on nine before Haintz (four) was caught off McAllister and the Saints were now 5/99.
Graeme Parr was next in and failed to trouble the scorers as he was trapped in front LBW by McAllister.
Greyd’n Davis made his a long awaited comeback for the Saints and managed to survive the hat-trick ball.
Pyle and Davis (two) got the score to 104 before the latter was sent packing, caught behind off Miles (1/15 off eight) and the Saints were now 7/104.
The Saints in the end succumbed to the run rate pressure with Pyle trapped LBW to McAllister again for 13.
For this batting and bowling effort Pyle picked up the Tim Harris $50 award.
Matt Whelan and John O’Neil were both not out on zero, with the Saints finishing their 40 overs at 9/104.
Berrigan sits just outside the top four in fifth spot, needing a win from both of their remaining games to play finals.
The Saints will travel to face the Deni Rhinos for round 14 on Saturday.