By Julian Bayard
CARDINIA captain Mark Cooper scored his second consecutive century for the Bulls, carrying his bat throughout his side’s 8/239 against Beaconsfield to score a magnificent 106 not out.
After scoring 112 against Officer in round nine, Cooper continued his good run of form, scoring four boundaries in his patient innings despite the steady loss of Cardinia wickets throughout the day.
Wicket-keeper Luke Turner was the next best Bulls’ batsman with 27 runs, while Tigers’ bowler Geoff Bliss bowled a sensational 18 overs to take the extremely economical figures of 3/26.
In other round 10 matches of the West Gippsland Cricket Association (WGCA), Nar Nar Goon/Maryknoll recovered from being 4/55 against Pakenham Upper-Toomuc (PUT) to post the defendable total of 236, being dismissed in the 78th over.
The Marygoons more than made up for the absence of their captain Mathew Lownds, with number nine batsman Steve Lewis compiling an excellent 55 not out to see his side’s score push well past 200.
Earlier, Noel O’Brien batted well for his 48 runs, while under-17 batsman Sam Vanderzalm showed his talent with the bat by scoring 41 runs.
For the Yabbies, captain Andrew Cooper was again the pick of the bowlers, taking 3/34 from 12.3 overs, while both opening bowlers Chris Smith (2/33 from 11 overs) and Lucas Plozza (2/12 from nine overs) performed admirably for their side.
Officer will feel confident of gaining victory in its vital match against Tooradin after restricting the home side to just 189 from 78 overs.
Unfortunately, no scores are available from the Seagulls at the time of writing this report.
For Officer, however, it was the dynamic opening combination of Daniel Savage and Jarrod Goodes that did the damage, combining to take seven wickets between them and give their side a serious chance of victory next week.
Savage was particularly damaging for the Bullants, with his 15 overs producing six maidens, four wickets and for the expense of just 24 runs.
For Goodes it was a welcome return to form, with the speedster sending down 17 overs for two maidens, three wickets and 37 runs.
Catani can thank its lower order for providing the Blues with a very defendable total against Kooweerup, recovering from 7/156 to eventually reach 9/234 at the end of play.
Seven Catani batsmen scored between 20 and 40, with no player able to go on to really penetrate the Kooweerup attack.
Nic Close was the best of the Blues’ batsmen with 39 runs, while Clint Fulton (35 runs), Ben Ahern (32 not out) and David Spierings (21 runs) combined to score 78 runs for the final two wickets.
For the Demons, opening bowler Paul Bright was the stand-out performer, taking 4/56 from 23 overs, while captain Shane Dole chipped in for the final two wickets to take 2/21 from 4.5 overs.
With just one and a half matches separating third from seventh on the Premier division ladder, the results of next week’s play could well shape the make-up of this year’s finals series.
By Julian Bayard