Knockout blow by Hawks

Jarrod Goodes bowling in Saturday''s crunch clash. Pictures: ROB CAREW 177793

By Nick Creely

Berwick’s season is over, and Hallam’s is only really beginning.
That was the consequence of the Bears’ hard fought loss to the Hawks on Saturday, as the Turf 1 top four is finally set in stone with just one round left to play.
While there were always going to be fleeting moments of momentum with the ball, the Bears simply didn’t make enough runs on day one, and all the Hawks had to do was grind it out, and capitalize anytime the visitors strayed off a length.
Resuming play at 0/13, the Hawks’ most experienced opening duo Ben Hillard (37) and Leigh Booth (38) were tested; as expected; but rode the tough wave early to set the home side on the right path. Both rock solid in defense, eventually Jarrod Goodes (2/47) found the spark, removing both Booth and the dangerous Jagveer Hayer in consecutive balls, both with excellent deliveries.
It brought the Hawks to 2/61, and with a sniff of restricting them under their first innings total of 163.
As he has for most of the season, Jordan Hammond (16) looked fluent, and combined with Hillard, managed to steady the ship before James Wilcock (3/56) entered the fray. In a tense spell, that had its moments of fierceness, Wilcock prized out Hammond, Kevin Kean (1) and eventually Hillard; trapped LBW; and suddenly the Hawks were falling apart with the score 5/95.
But a steely resolve; one that will see the Hawks now enter finals as a genuine threat; saw Ryan Hillard (22 not out) rearguard the chase, and combined with Vishal Thind (36 not out), put on 47 ice cool runs to steer the home side to a result that has now shaped the season.
It was just as exciting down at Park Oval, with Buckley Ridges saluting their 90-year celebration in style, with a thrilling final ball win against Heinz Southern Districts. Chasing 291, Daniel Watson (73), Susa Pradeep (72) and skipper Troy Aust (50) thrilled the home crowd, and brought them close to victory despite the looming threat of Michael ‘Slick’ Davies (5/66).
Needing six runs to win off the final over of the day; and with just two wickets left in the shed; the Bucks found the winning single through a clip off the pads of Wes Nicholas to secure a thrilling win that sent some of the legends of the club into raptures.
Narre Warren, meanwhile, is finishing the season with a flurry, and as a result of their thumping win over North Dandenong, are a chance to climb off the bottom at season’s end.
The Magpies; defending a monster 268; rolled the Maroons for a lowly 115, with in form pair Janaka Liyanabadalge (4/30) and Imran Laghmani (4/36) carrying on from their stunning batting form to skittle the visitors.
Gearing up for a tilt at back to back Turf 1 flags, Mordialloc made St Mary’s look second rate at Carroll Reserve on day two of their clash.
After the Bloodhounds posted a competitive 197 on day one, the Saints had plenty of work to do when resuming play at 1/2 after a late Jakob Woinarski wicket dented their confidence.
But encountering a fired up Stuart Squires (4/11) and gifted quick Woinarski (3/34) proved a bridge too far for the home, rolled for 74 inside 38 overs in a clinic by the visitors.
More worryingly for the Bloodhounds’ finals rivals, the reigning premiers seems even more ruthless than it was last year, and are entering the finals in only a few weeks’ time in sublime touch.
The Bloodhounds had another dip late in the day, finishing on 3/33 off 23 overs as they virtually assured themselves of the minor premiership.
A young and exciting Cranbourne was also one of the biggest winners to come out of the round, with the developing Eagles unit consigning Dingley to a massive loss that may see the Dingoes finish last.
After already securing first innings points after rolling the Dingoes for 48, the Eagles skipped to 185 all out after Jake Harrington (69) played a terrific knock, and at one point were a genuine chance of outright.
The Dingoes; however; fought hard to grind out 37 overs despite being 2/16 at one stage, finishing on 5/94 through all-rounder Christo Otto’s (42 not out) best efforts.
Jordan Margenberg (2/32) showed promising signs in the second innings, while Cam Kelly (1/14) capped off a good game with a solid second innings effort.
In the round’s final match, Steven Spoljaric (6/39) inspired Springvale South (136 and 8/129) to a comfortable win over Dandenong West (97).
Spoljaric is making a late play for yet another Wookey Medal, and now has 24 wickets for the season at an incredible average of 9.4.

Mordialloc 10 8 2 0 56 1.56
Springvale South 10 9 1 0 54 1.7
Buckley Ridges 10 9 1 0 54 1.5
Hallam Kalora Park 10 7 3 0 42 1.41
Berwick 10 5 5 0 34 1.12
St Mary’s 10 5 5 0 30 1.37
Heinz Southern Districts 10 4 6 0 24 1.06
North Dandenong 10 4 6 0 24 0.65
Dandenong West 10 3 7 0 18 0.76
Cranbourne 10 2 8 0 12 0.63
Dingley 10 2 8 0 12 0.61
Narre Warren 10 2 8 0 12 0.48

Narre South (154 and 4/87) will be Turf 2 minor premiers for the second consecutive season, with brilliant skipper Scott Phillips finishing with 13 wickets in an outright victory over Coomoora (54) and (9/185dec).
After Phillips toyed with the visitors by taking 9/20 and rolling them for just 54, Phillips took 4/50 in the second dig to guide the Lions to the maximum points, meaning they are virtually assured top spot heading into the final round.
Beaconsfield, meanwhile, were unable to reel in Parkmore at Perc Allison, with the Pirates chasing down the Tigers’ 227 with five wickets left in the shed.
Matt Golding (4/90) was prominent once again for the home side.
Narre North (230), meanwhile, escaped with a thrilling win over Fountain Gate (225) at Max Pawsey, with Ryan Hendy (6/79) putting on a clinic with the ball.
In the other matches, Lyndale (89 and 48) lost outright to St Brigid’s/St Louis (5/178dec), who jump into the four, Keysborough (295 and 4/207) belted Silverton, while Lynbrook (185) overcame Parkfield (130 and 2/46) to bank a late season victory.

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