By Gus Underwood
LAST season’s Goulburn Murray Cricket grand finalists Rochester and Fire Brigade couldn’t be split at the end of their fourth round clash at Kyabram’s Northern Oval on Saturday.
When the Brigade lost its last wicket in the 44th over, scores were tied on 183.
New Brigade skipper Brodie Unwin was able to scramble a single to lock-up the scores in the pulsating finish to the game.
Impressive new Brigade recruit, allrounder Jesse Barker, again had an impact by top scoring with 62 opening the innings.
He hit 10 fours and a six and figured in a match-saving partnership of 73 with Jayden Rosin, who made 47.
Up-and-comer Ryan Thomson chipped in with a fighting 20 when the game was up for grabs.
In Rochester’s innings, Tim Bubb with 64 off 128 deliveries and Waugh George with a patient 28 put on and opening stand of 97, which was finally broken by Barker.
Then another half century from Dylan Cuttriss — his fourth in four games — ensured Rochester posted a competitive score of 4/183.
Cuttriss cut loose with the bat in making an unbeaten 60 off just 30 balls in 40 minutes. He slammed five fours and three sixes in his quickfire knock.
The Brigade takes on unbeaten Cooma this Saturday.
¦ COACH Daniel Coombs led Tongala to victory over Bamawm Lockington United with a superb knock of 89 off 98 balls in a 130-minute stay at the crease.
Batting first drop, Coombs was involved in a second-wicket stand of 44 with opener and skipper Darin Ohlsen (24) and put on 103 for the third wicket with Adam Nunn, who made 36.
New recruit Dylan Cunningham also chipped in with a handy 32 off just 16 balls as Tongala built a handy score of 7/228.
In reply LBU at one stage was 1/72 but after the dismissals of Chris Smith and Liam Hamilton, who both scored half centuries, the visitors struggled and came up 70 runs short.
Lucas Hughes was the most successful of the Tongala bowlers with 3/4.
Tongala travels this Saturday to take on Echuca.
¦ COOMA opener Steve Barrett was the shining light with the bat as his team continued its great start to the season with a win over Echuca South.
Barrett cracked 72, including eight boundaries, off 93 deliveries and was the third batsmen out when Cooma had 141 runs on the board.
He shared in a 48-run opening stand with Aaron Hayes (15) and a second-wicket stand of 57 with skipper Michael Hill who made 26 despite a top spell of bowling from South’s Jake Toll who took 5/33 off nine overs after being the sixth bowler thrown the ball.
Other handy contributions to the Cooma score were made by Ryan Hatch with 17 and 25 from Liam Thorne.
In reply Echuca South came up 36 runs short, with Cam Laird the mainstay of the innings with a half century.
Mitch and Drew Barrett and Xavier Fawcett all took two wickets for Cooma, which meets Fire Brigade this Saturday in trying to continue its winning start to the season.
¦ MOAMA took the honours in the remaining game against Echuca on the back of a brilliant century from Anthony McMahon.
McMahon slammed 20 fours in reaching an unbeaten 111 off 105 balls in a 135-minute occupancy of the batting crease, which helped his side to 5/158 off 34.1 overs after Echuca was bowled out in the 39th over for 157.
Cooma got the points in a tight clash with Echuca due mainly to knocks of 38 from opener Mason Scopelliti, Michael D’Augello (27) and Cooper Fawcett (20).
Most of the Fire Brigade batsmen got a start against Echuca South, with Shannon O’Brien’s 41 off 33 balls, with five fours and a six, the top score in his team’s total of 9/154.
Three-wicket hauls to Jarrod Chapman and Bohden Learmonth restricted South to 9/128 and ensured the win for the Brigade.
Ash Hughes batted Girgarre to victory over Rochester Gold.
With his side a shaky 4/22 and 5/38 chasing Rochester’s 5/153, Hughes took control to make 66 off 74 balls and with support from the tailenders got Girgarre over the line.
Earlier Ryan Burt took 3/35 in the Rochester innings.
Stanhope’s Jorge Maxwell rocked the Tongala batting line-up early with the first four wickets but it proved in vain as the game was washed out by a hailstorm with the home side in big trouble at 5/26.
In the other game, Northern United accounted for LBU.
Opener Brayden Kearns made 92 in Stanhope’s easy win over BLU.
Kearns got most support from Tanner Webber (34) in Stanhope’s score of 9/208, which delivered a 52-run win.
K Webber made an unbeaten 38 off 40 balls to steer Rushworth an easy win over Cooma. Mitch Coombs with 41 held the Cooma innings together.
Scott Fitzallen with 60 and Darren Butler (29) ensured Girgarre got the premiership points against Fire Brigade Red.
With Scott Hearn bagging four wickets and opening bowler Luke Davies three, Fire Brigade restricted Tongala to 9/116 to set up a win for their side.
In reply the Brigade rounded up Tongala’s score in 27 overs with Miller Griffiths with 31 and Shane Jackson with an unbeaten 27 the top run-getters.
Rushworth lost just two wickets covering Echuca’s score of 3/103, with Tom Stevens showing the way with a half century and opener Peter Raglus making 28.
With openers Darren Viney (34) and Ryan Cox (20) showing the way, Cooma was up to the challenge of gunning down Echuca South’s score of 8/152, in which James Crow took 3/28.
Stanhope won on forfeit from Fire Brigade.
By Gus Underwood