Cobras strike on eve of finals

Max Melzer stumps Paul Jubber for 48. (Ivan Kemp) 391511_18

Collendina’s march to Bellarine Peninsula Cricket Association A1 Grade promotion is on track after making an imposing 6/285 against Winchelsea on Saturday March 2.

The Cobras are on top of the A2 Grade ladder and victory this week would secure the minor premiership.

Openers Corey Walter (89) and Ben Riccardo (39) set the tone early for the Snakes.

“We made a focus on making sure we give them (middle order) a solid platform and I think we were one for 130 maybe at tea, which we were really happy with,” Walter said.

“It gave ourselves an opportunity with wickets in hand to try and go at fives and sixes (an over) after tea.”

Walter has made 580 runs this season at an average of 58 since crossing back to his home club after a stint at Marshall.

After the break Stan Grazotis played with freedom, finishing unbeaten on 97 from 87 deliveries. Grazotis was left stranded at the nonstriker’s end for the final three deliveries of the innings.

“I think it’s important when we’ve got wickets in hand, it lets him (Grazotis) play his natural game and I think he’s just better for us at five or six,” Walter said.

“It’s a bit of a luxury if we can have him come in after tea and play his natural game and it worked out perfectly yesterday. He hit the ball so clean. He deserved a hundred, but he was just rapt to get us up to that really good score.”

For Winchelsea, Shane Murdoch continued his stellar season with 3/75 from 21 overs and Matt Partridge put in a long shift with 2/83 from 27.

Walter said Collendina had a good blend of youth and experience.

“We’ve got four or five guys in their thirties who have played a lot of cricket and just enjoy playing with these younger guys and trying to teach them along the way,” he said.

DRYSDALE needs just 10 runs to defeat Newcomb outright and move into second spot on the ladder. Youngster Hayden Eddy, fresh from taking seven wickets in an Under 17 final that morning, took 5/19. However, all eyes will be on the weather forecast. If the BOM predicts a top temperature of 38 or more at 8am on gameday, no play will take place. It would mean that Drysdale would be on 63 points and second placed Portarlington (with a draw) would be on 64. The early forecast for Geelong on Saturday is for 39 degrees.

RILEY Illingworth made 78 in Portarlington’s total of 213 all out against St Leonards. David Hambrook made 48 while Saints’ skipper James Burns was superb with 6/52 from 21 overs.

WALLINGTON made 234 against Surfcoast with Owne Dunn getting 65 and Henry McIntosh a quick 44 while Daniel Zoch took 5/52 for the Stingrays.

IN A1 GRADE, Jac Juc opener Nick Hyden crafted a superb 107 not out from 195 deliveries to have his side at 5/274 against Queenscliff. Finn Bilston (51) and Tom Kearney (40) also contributed.

OCEAN GROVE was on track for a big score against arch rivals Barwon Heads, but lost a cluster of late wickets to be all out for 186. Evergreen Paul Jubber (48) and Suman Shrestha (40) got runs, but Dan Donaldson took 3/78 from 25 overs and Brent McMinn chipped in 4/4 to have the game evenly poised.

BARRABOOL batted all day for 165 against Anglesea with Tully Seattle (43) and Ed Morrison (42) playing well. Seas’ skipper Dylan Taylor starred with 5/15 and looms as a player to watch come finals time.

CLAY Mulgrew swapped his run-making exploits for some wickets as Inverleigh made 164. Mulgrew took 6/60 from 25 overs and Daniel Maclean grabbed 4/57 from a marathon 33 overs.