Bridge battle too close to call

Paul Jubber lifts this delivery to square leg during his innings of 48. (pictures Ivan Kemp) 391511_01

Ocean Grove has set arch rivals Barwon Heads 187 for victory in the final round of the A1 Grade home and away season.

It signalled a triumphant return for the A Grade Battle of the Bridge game with the Heads earning promotion to the top flight this season after a few seasons in A2 Grade.

And it will be the Heads who will play in finals although the Grubbers will be aiming to finish the season on a high.

Fletcher Long (25 off 112 deliveries) and Shaun Fankhauser (35 from 105) gave the Grubbers a solid, although patient, platform.

Suman Shrestha looked good for his 40 from 89 and Paul Jubber showed he has lost none of his class with 48 from 67 to move things along.

However, a late flurry of wickets saw the Seagulls back in the contest with Brent McMinn’s gentle off-spinners netting him four wickets for four runs and leggie Dan Donaldson again bowling well to take 3/78 from 25 and Jason Mallet chipped in with 2/10 from eight.

In B1 Grade, Ocean Grove has some work to do to stay on top of the ladder or even finish in the top two.

The Grubbers need 226 for victory against Barwon Heads.

With second placed Barrabool in a strong position needing 130 against Anglesea, the Grubbers could tumble to third if they are dismissed for a lowish total this week. However, with a strong batting line-up they will be confident in chasing down the runs.

Matt Bode top scored for the Seagulls with 65 while Matt Oakley (39 not out) and Nick Sutton (28 not out from 18 balls) finished things off nicely.

Tom Kent was again superb for Grove with 4/74 from 26 overs and Craig Byron took 2/28 from 19.

C Grade captain Greg Scarpa took his season’s run tally to an extraordinary 784 at an average of 87.11 with a fine 88 against Armstrong Creek.

Matt Bellingham made 39 in Grove’s total of 204 all out and in reply, the Titans were unscathed at 0/32. Grove looks like finishing second and earning a home semi-final.

Lachlan McKenzie made 68 not out in Grove’s D Grade win against Drysdale. Batting first Ocean Grove made 3/190 and Drysdale replied with 106 all out with Aaron Eddy making 44 and Xavier Kiddle taking 4/13.