By Justin Flynn
Ocean Grove sits in fifth spot on the Bellarine Peninsula Cricket Association ladder after losing to Jan Juc.
The Grubbers are a game and a small amount of percentage outside the top four.
Third-placed Jan Juc made 6/193 with the ultra-consistent Jordan Withers (37) taking his season’s run tally to 247 at an average of 49.40.
Dan Roddis was expensive, but toiled hard to take 3/56 for Ocean Grove.
Grove’s run chase started well, but Pat McKenna was run out with the total on 24 and the side never recovered, all out for 101.
Ben Grinter, enjoying his new role as a front-line bowler, took 3/21 for the Sharks, who loom as a major challenger in 2021.
Ocean Grove coach Paul Jubber said his side was “a better side now than what we were at the start of the year.”
“We have managed to get some games into some of our emerging players (and) all of our players have contributed in some way this season,” he said.
However Jubber said there were still areas of improvement, such as “the top six generating stronger totals” and “not allowing teams to get flying starts against us”.
“We are certainly in position to make the four and we feel with some strong performances after Christmas we can finish in the top four and give the finals a shake-up this year,” he said.
Ocean Grove’s B1 Grade side is in a strong position heading into the break in third spot.
The Grubbers gave Jan Juc a hiding, making 2/171 with Jackson Kent putting his hand up for an A Grade spot with a well made 50. Jake Taylor (40) continued his consistent season, taking his run total this season to 160 (at an average of 53.33) while Nathan Down (30 not out) and Isaac Saunders (28) contributed.
Jan Juc could only manage 89 in reply (Mac Fox 33) with Kent and Taylor both taking three wickets.
The Grubbers are sitting third on the C Grade ladder after disposing of Anglesea.
Darren Craig (70) led the charge with Grove making 8/177 while Charlie Larsen (33) and Nathan Taylor (32) batted well.
The Grubbers put the brakes on the Seas’ innings, restricting them to 8/112 with Aidann Foard, Kent Wooding and Sam McGlynn each snaring two wickets.
Grove has some work to do if it is to avoid the D Grade wooden spoon.
The Grubbers are in last spot on the ladder and fell to Barrabool at the weekend.
Damien Finn top scored with 27 in Grove’s innings of 105 all out, while Will Finn got 25 and John Murphy 20.
The Bulls made the runs with six wickets and 15 overs to spare with Matt Walsh making an unbeaten 50.
In round six, Grove had to settle for a rain-affected draw against Collendina.
Shaun Fankhauser (76) and Pat Mckenna (29 not out) guided Grove to 5/177 and Dina was 3/42 when the rain came.
B1 Grade was also drawn with the clash delicately poised. Grove made 172 (Jake Taylor 38, Tom Kent 33, Jackson Kent 29), but the Hawks were 0/49 from nine overs when play was abandoned due to rain.
Rain robbed Ocean Grove’s C Grade side of a win.
Barrabool made 118 batting first, with Taj Wirth starring with 5/22. Grove was cruising towards victory at 3/104 (Zack Carmody 33, Tyler Carmody 29), needing just 10 runs with a swag of overs left, but the heavens opened.
Rain also affected the D Grade clash against Armstrong Creek. Pat Kuipers led the way with an unbeaten 103 in Grove’s total of 7/204 and the Titans were 3/68 (Will Finn 3/36) when play ended.