By Justin Flynn
Ocean Grove gave its 2020-21 season a lifeline with consecutive victories against St Leonards and Barwon Heads.
After losing their first three games, the Grubbers have now pushed up to sixth place on the ladder.
In round 5 on November 28, Barwon Heads struggled to reach 118 all out after being 9/75 before captain Kane Atkins rescued the innings with an unbeaten 39.
Again it was left-arm paceman Dan Roddis and new-ball partner Lindon Giuffrida who did the early damage. Roddis took 3/26 while Giuffrida bowled five maidens on his way to 2/15.
Youngster Flynn Hardiman continued to show promise with 3/24.
In reply, Grove lost two wickets for one run but a 61-run stand between a patient Fletcher Long (22 off 65 balls) and captain Paul Jubber (47 from 89) calmed the nerves in the dressing room.
Dylan Thorley played a mature hand of 17 not out from 59 deliveries and Ocean Grove got home with five wickets and one over to spare.
Barwon Heads turned the tables in B1 Grade with a win against Ocean Grove.
The Seagulls made 5/156 with Jonathan Gill (51 not out), Lachlan Hooper (37) and young Will Duncombe (28 not out) making runs. Spinner Tom Kent took 3/15 from eight overs for Grove.
Nathan Madden (29) and Zack Carmody (21) tried hard but Grove fell 55 runs short as Conan Roos wound back the clock with 3/10 for the Gulls.
In C Grade, Grove ran into a powerful Jan Juc unit.
The Sharks made 7/232 with Tahj Wirth bowling well to take 2/27 from eight.
Grove made a good fist of the run chase, finishing with 9/190 thanks largely to Darren Craig (65) and skipper Greg Scarpa (36) putting on 86 for the first wicket.
In round four on November 21, Ocean Grove won its first game for the season, defeating St Leonards by four wickets.
Dan Roddis (3/29) ripped through the Saints’ top order with only Rob Cutajar (36) showing any resistance. Two wickets each to Lindon Giuffrida and Flynn Hardiman helped wrap up the innings for 102.
Grove started the small run chase poorly, being 2/6, but Shaun Fankhauser (19) and Isaac Saunders (26) steadied things and then Paul Jubber (14 not out) guided the side home.
David Turner smacked his second ton of the season to help B1 Grade thrash St Leonards.
Turner has scores of 106, 47 and 102 this season. Turner and Jackson Kent (41) put on 137 for the first wicket in a score of 4/242.
In reply St Leonards was 8/102 but a ninth wicket stand of 56 between Lachie Campbell (29) and Matt Grills (25) added some respectability to the final total of 158. Bailey Le Maistre (3/34) and Kent (2/28) bowled well for the Grubbers.
Ocean Grove won a high-scoring C1 Grade encounter against Collendina. Dina made 8/215 with Darren Craig (5/35) and Tahj Wirth (3/38) the most successful bowlers.
In reply, Grove made the runs easily with Zach Carmody (67 not out), Mick Carroll (64) and Tyler Carmody (38) getting the team home with six wickets and four overs to spare.
Barwon Heads defeated Ocean Grove in D Grade. Grove made 103 with John Giuffrida (24) top scoring. The Seagulls cruised home with eight wickets to spare thanks to an unbeaten 76 from Michael Moulton.