Centrals and Cavaliers have officially put their Orange District Cricket Association second grade rivals on notice, hitting form and fighting back from their horror starts to the 2017-18 summer in a big way.
Between them, Centrals and Cavaliers won just one game in the opening three rounds of the competition and were sitting second last and last, respectively.
Now, just two rounds later, Centrals have shot into the top two and only trail competition leaders Orange City by a point while the maroons are within touching distance of the top three, just four points adrift of third-placed CYMS.
Centrals scored their third consecutive victory on Saturday afternoon by holding off a determined Kinross outfit, while Cavaliers hammered Orange City to claim a second bonus point win on the trot.
Will Richard’s half-ton and Roshan Eiseman’s three-wicket haul inspired the red and blacks, while Cavaliers once again have young gun Cam Laird to thank.
Richard top-scored with 55 in Centrals’ dig of 8-159 before Eiseman snared 3-30 to help restrict Kinross to 145 in reply, Phoebe Litchfield top-scoring for the students with a controlled 37.
Laird continued his red-hot form with the ball, backing up his stunning seven-wicket haul from last weekend by taking four more scalps as Cavaliers knocked off the competition leaders.
Laird took 4-23 on Saturday – he’s taken 11-42 in his past two outings – to help skittle City for just 115 in reply to his side’s 192.
The youngster chipped in with the bat again too, knocking up 29 and combining with his skipper Stu Middleton (64) in a 79-run second-wicket stand.
In Saturday’s other second grade game CYMS returned to the winners’ circle, after suffering a defeat to the maroons the week before.
The green and golds, led by Ben Chiarella (56), Grant Koch (42), Matt Baker (39 not out) and Ed Wright (29 not out), chased down Waratahs’ 6-201 with six wickets and six overs still in the bank.
A huge showing from Spring Hill’s Dan Marsh led the Wood Ducks to their second win of the fourth grade season on Saturday, a comfortable victory over CYMS.
Marsh smashed 92 not out of Spring Hill’s 6-217 and then chipped in with 1-6 as well, as CYMS could only make it to 9-158 in reply.
Gareth Faul, Troy Pearson and Gav Smith led Centrals-Wanderers to a huge win over Kinross in the third and fourth grade cross-over game.
Faul (4-12) and Pearson (4-14) both snared four-wicket hauls – the former’s third in as many games – to help skittle the students for just 59, before Smith banged out 50 not out as Centrals-Wanderers cruised home by seven wickets in just nine overs.
In the other third grade games, Waratahs (4-249) smoked CYMS (9-183) and Cavaliers (117) held out Orange City (103) – the latter game completing the maroons’ clean-sweep of the Warriors last weekend, Cavs also won the first grade fixture.
In Centenary Cup’s lone fixture Kinross edged home over Orange City, passing the Warriors’ total of 9-110 with one wicket in hand.