Berwick: Can they Bear it?

Hallam star Leigh Booth sends one down to Matt Chasemore. Pictures: ROB CAREW

By Nick Creely

If Berwick is going to play finals this season, the first hour of day two will be the most telling.
On day one; in the most crucial Turf 1 match of the season; Hallam edged its nose ahead to bring itself one step closer to cementing itself inside the top four, and pushing the highly fancied Bears to the sideline once and for all.
Hawks skipper Steve Gilmour elected to field at Hallam Reserve and despite a solid start to openers Jordan Cleland (11) and Darren de Souza (9), Gilmour (3/29) brought the undoing of the pair, taking three wickets in a matter of balls.
The quick shattered the stumps of Cleland, before trapping Ryan Crawford the very next ball, and finally finding the edge of de Souza in his next over to leave the visitors 3/23.
Experienced duo Matt ‘Cheeks’ Chasemore (64) and Nathan Pilon (41) rebuilt the ship, with Pilon playing the aggressor and Cheeks playing the occupier, and the pair put on 63 runs to level out the first session.
Young gun Jordan Hammond (2/37) then managed to trap Pilon in front with a searing delivery, and once again the Bears lost a clump of wickets to be 8/124.
Chasemore remained steady despite the middle order collapse, defending solidly on the good balls and cashing in on anything loose to pull out his trademark pull shot, and partnered with a more restrained Jarrod Goodes (17 off 65), the two rode a wave of Hawk momentum to pull their side out of a hole.
After putting on a grinding 38 runs, the Hawks rallied late to remove both Chasemore and Goodes to bowl the Bears out for 163.
It left 11 overs for the home side to bat through, and despite some pressure filled moments, experienced openers Leigh Booth (9) and Ben Hillard (3) were rock solid to finish on 0/13, leaving the Bears with plenty of work to do early on day two.
Down at Casey Fields, a sensational performance from an emerging Cranbourne has Dingley in danger of ending the round on the bottom of the ladder.
Eagles stalwart Cam Kelly (4/9) was the engineer of a stunning bowling performance, skittling the lowly Dingoes for just 48 in 30.3 overs, with only three batsmen reaching double figures.
Without regular opener and coach Matt Hague, the Dingoes were made to look second rate by Kelly and his band of bowlers in Tim Fathers (2/14), Steve Miller (1/16) and Josh Dinger (3/9).
At stumps, the Eagles raced to 5/133, with Jake Harrington (52 not out) eyeing off a late season century after an encouraging year with the bat.
Heinz Southern Districts also had a day out at Park Oval against premiership favourites, Buckley Ridges, racking up an imposing first innings total.
Batting all day, the Cobras made 290, with Adam Semmens (89) and the ever reliable Michael ‘Slick’ Davies (73 not out) slicing eight sixes between them.
Jurgen Andersen (3/68) and Daniel Watson (3/62) did the bulk of the work with the ball to keep the Bucks in the contest.
But it presents a big challenge for the home side, who are in for a big run chase in what will be their 90 year celebration as a club.
Narre Warren also enjoyed another impressive weekend, with young gun Imran Laghmani striking his second century in a row to put North Dandenong to the sword.
A more resilient Magpies outfit were sent in at Sweeney Reserve, and once again it was Laghmani (113) and Janaka Liyanabadalge (55) that steered the home side in the middle order, with the pair putting on 120 runs, only a week after sharing a 204 run partnership.
Laghamani struck 15 elegant boundaries and a maximum in a cruisy innings as he starts to take the DDCA by storm, while Liyanabadalge played a second fiddle, as the Magpies scored 268 in 74 overs.
The Maroons remained unscathed at stumps at 0/6, but are without key middle order pair Clayton McCartney and Caleb Millman, who are playing representative cricket.
Mordialloc, meanwhile, continue to snarl at the right time of the year, and finished day one against St Mary’s in a strong position.
The Bloodhounds made the trip down to Carroll Reserve, won the toss and elected to bat, and a strong start by Brendan Morris (25) and Ian Daniel (22) had the visitors set for a big day.
Kaushalya Gajasinghe (5/67) spun a web and worked brilliantly in tandem with quick Shakeel Ahmad (2/27) to halt the Bloodhounds’ momentum briefly, but a combative knock to gun keeper-batsman Damith Mapa Ralage (47) had them on the right path.
Wickets through the middle overs; a period of the game that has been controlled by Gajasinghe frequently with his clever variations of pace; meant the Bloodhounds were pegged back to 6/132; but a cameo to Lochlan Davies (39) lifted the visitors to 197.
It was a horror end to the day for the Saints, with rising star Jakob Woinarski (1/1) trapping Wendyl Pires (1) trapped LBW in the second and final over to leave them stuttering at 1/2 at stumps.
In the other match, Springvale South (136) left an improved Dandenong West (5/61) dented late in the day at Greaves Reserve.
Steve Spoljaric (3/24) struck three late blows after a strong start to the run chase for the Westers.
Coomoora felt the might of one of the finest local cricketers in the region, with Narre South captain/coach Scott Phillips putting in a mind boggling display with the ball at home.
On Saturday, Phillips took 9/20 off 11 overs, as the visitors rolled over for 54 in reply the Lions’ 154, to take his tally to 26 for the year.
In fact, he has taken 81 wickets in just 25 matches since signing with the Lions at the start of the 2016/17 season, to go with 1142 runs at 57.10.
He is best known as being one of Long Island’s greatest cricketers in the MPCA, and took 10/44 in 2008/09 against Sorrento.
In their second dig, Coomoora are 0/15 off five overs, and in desperate need of a partnership to stave off an outright defeat.
Another incredible performance by Beaconsfield skipper Matt Golding has the Tigers roaring against Parkmore Pirates down at Perc Allison Oval.
Golding whacked 112; his second century in his last three digs and third for the season; as the Tigers racked up 9/227.

He got his century with a lusty lofted drive over cover on 97, and roared with excitement as he brought up the three figures
The 25-year-old Englishman now has 578 runs at 72.3 for the season, as well as 36 wickets at 11.6 in what is becoming one of the great Turf 2 seasons of recent record.
In other matches, Narre North (230) is in a strong position against Fountain Gate (3/31), St Brigid’s/St Louis (5/178dec) already has first innings points against Lyndale (89 and 2/3), Keysborough (295) is dominating Silverton (3/16), while Parkfield (130) and Lynbrook (2/29) is well poised at Marriott Waters.

Mordialloc 9 7 2 0 50 1.54
Springvale South 9 8 1 0 48 1.83
Buckley Ridges 9 8 1 0 48 1.56
Hallam Kalora Park 9 6 3 0 36 1.39
Berwick 9 5 4 0 34 1.18
St Mary’s 9 5 4 0 30 1.52
Heinz Southern Dist 9 4 5 0 24 1.09
North Dandenong 9 4 5 0 24 0.68
Dandenong West 9 3 6 0 18 0.75
Dingley 9 2 7 0 12 0.62
Cranbourne 9 1 8 0 6 0.54
Narre Warren 9 1 8 0 6 0.38

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