by Gus Underwood
THE Cooma bubble may have been burst in Goulburn Murray Cricket, with Tongala dominating the first day’s play on Saturday.
The only unbeaten side in the competition going into the first of the two-day games for the season Cooma collapsed in 50.3 overs for just 98 runs in the clash at Cooma.
Cooma crumbled under a hostile Tongala bowling attack led by strike bowler Adam Nunn.
With a stiff breeze at his back Nunn claimed an innings-wrecking 5/34 off 15.3 overs, including 10 maidens.
First-change bowler Matt Ohlsen chimed in with 3/17 off 10 overs and skipper Darin Ohlsen took 2/7 off nine overs of left arm off spin in the Cooma batting surrender.
Only Liam Thorne with 29, opener Steve Barrett (19) and determined teenager Ethan Palma-Ludeman, also with 19, reached double figures for Cooma.
The sixth-wicket stand between Thorne and Palma-Ludeman yielded 42 runs but this was the only partnership of any note in the sorry Cooma scoreline.
In reply Tongala was in a commanding position at stumps on 1/72 with Jayden Tucker (30 not out) and coach Daniel Coombs (38 not out) sharing an unbeaten second-wicket stand of 75.
Fire Brigade’s opening batsmen Daniel Kent and Jesse Barker set up a mammoth score for their side against second-placed Moama at Kyabram’s Northern Oval.
Kent, who top scored with 80 featuring 12 fours and a six off 124 deliveries, received great support from the consistent Barker who made 61 with seven boundaries off 148 deliveries in a 132-run opening stand.
Then Rob Salter with 74 off 98 balls kept the runs flowing along with Scott Morris (24), Jake Gascoyne (29) and Ryan Thomson 26 as the Flames built a daunting score of 6/317, which will provide a massive challenge for the Moama batsmen this Saturday.
In the other games, BLU posted 205 against Echuca thanks to knocks of 64 from James McPhee, 40 from opener Chris Smith and 44 from Liam Hamilton.
And Echuca South’s batsmen compiled a competitive 8/191 on the back of an opening stand of 93 between opening batsmen Josh Novoselek (68) and Luke Thomson (37).