By Mark Heenan
OCEAN GROVE CRICKET
Gun batsman Michael Kenneady is confident Ocean Grove can push for an elusive A Grade premiership after its resounding win over Little River.
Kenneady broke the record for club’s highest individual A Grade score after his innings of 167 not out in the total of 4/339.
It was Ocean Grove’s highest first innings A Grade score in nine seasons.
Kenneady said the big win over new BPCA expansion club proved it had the firepower and credentials to contend for an A Grade title and finals berth.
After a semi-final finish in 2016/17, Ocean Grove sits in third spot.
The last two matches has seen the Grubbers attempt to force an outright result with opposition teams Portarlington and Little River, both batting a second time.
The Grubbers took 16 Little River wickets on day two as the visitors were stranded on 6/123 from 36 overs in its second dig after it was bowled out for only 114 in the first innings.
“The ultimate goal is to win a premiership – everyone is contributing,” Kenneady told the Voice.
“This is the strongest Ocean Grove A Grade side that I have been a part of in six seasons.
“We have one or two players out at the moment and we are going to get stronger.”
Ocean Grove coach Paul Jubber lauded Kenneady’s record breaking innings.
“Michael’s innings was brilliant, he has had a limited pre-season and to see him play as well as he did is a testament to his skill and his ability to compete,” Jubber said.
Dangerous left-armer Dan Roddis was outstanding with the ball, destroying the Redbacks top and middle order to finish with 5/37 from 15 overs.
“Dan Roddis has been a real standout for us, he is bowling with real aggression,” Jubber said.
Jackson Kent provided good support and picked up 3/30 from 10.3 overs.
Matt Bellingham claimed 3/14 in Little River’s second innings.
In B Grade, Ocean Grove celebrated with an outright victory over Little River.
Batting first the home side was all bundled out for 57 with Billy Foord Engelsman the star with 6/30 from 15.4 overs.
Ocean Grove made 5/125dec., before it sent Redbacks into bat again.
In its second dig Little River was all out for 119 with Foord Engelsman taking 5/45 from 17.2 overs.
The popular Grubber bowler finished with match figures of 11/75.
Ocean Grove won by six wickets and ended its second innings at 4/52 from 15 overs to snare outright.
In C Grade, the Grubbers came close to pulling off another outright against league newcomers Armstrong Creek.
Batting first the visitors were all out for 157 and in reply Ocean Grove finished at 1/170dec., from 29 overs.
Pat Kuipers (88 not out) and Greg Scarpa (53 not out) shared in an unbroken 97-run stand before the home side put the visitors back in.
Darren Craig was a shining light for Ocean Grove with 3/8.
Armstrong Creek finished at 8/82 from 48 overs before play stopped.
Grubber opening batsman Tom Beasley scored an unbeaten hundred and led Ocean Grove to an 157-run victory over Jan Juc in D Grade.
Beasley retired on 109 in Grove’s first innings total of 4/225.
Will Richardson (3/9) and Dane Noble (3/23) helped bowl Jan Juc out for 68.