Grubbers nail finals place

Huon Bertino on his way to his first century for Ocean Grove. (Jamie Callum) 178096

By Mark Heenan

Ocean Grove A Grade secured its top four finals spot thanks to a gutsy hundred from Huon Bertino guided the Grubbers to victory against Jan Juc on Saturday.
Bertino’s 106 was his first hundred for Ocean Grove since he joined the Grubbers two seasons ago.
The wicket-keeper batsman who hit 11 boundaries laid the foundations after he shared in a 176-run third wicket stand with Grubber gun bat Michael Kenneady (89).
“I thought I was getting too old to make a hundred – it has been a few years,” laughed Bertino, 34.
“The number one thing is we needed to win to make finals.”
Ocean Grove (42 points) maintained third position after 10 rounds with ladder leader Anglesea (52 points), second-placed Collendina (46 points) and Drysdale (40 points) in fourth spot rounding out the top four.
The Grubbers resumed at 0/11 on day two after Jan Juc set a challenging total of 237 from 63 overs.
The Sharks fought the game out, the Grubbers won in final over to finish at 7/240 from 83.4 overs.
Ocean Grove coach Paul Jubber said wickets in hand allowed the Grubbers to attack the Shark bowlers in the final overs – despite the home side losing 5/37 late on day two.
“I think anytime you have wickets in a game of cricket you always a chance to play aggressively towards the latter part of your innings,” Jubber told the Voice.
“Just on Huon (Bertino)…his first hundred for the club was certainly well deserved – not only been a terrific player for us in the last couple of years but more importantly he has been a fantastic clubman.”
Jan Juc playing coach Ben Grinter was the star on 17 February with a brilliant 122, his second century in 2017/18.
“Ben Grinter is a very good player – credit where credit is due and has been outstanding player in the competition for many years,” Jubber said.
Grinter who hit 19 boundaries in his knock of 122, said Ocean Grove were genuine contenders for this season’s A Grade title.
“In regards to Ocean Grove they do have that depth…I do believe they are a real chance to take it out this year,” Grinter said.
The loss ended Jan Juc’s hopes of making finals this season after its second-placed finish at the completion of the 2016/17 home and away season.
Jan Juc youngster Josh Norman (3/63) and club stalwart Iva Priest (3/56) each took three wickets.
Norman’s three-wicket haul from 22 overs with three maidens won high praise from the Grubbers.
“Josh is a talent for the future – and Jan Juc are lucky to have him,” said Jubber.
Ocean Grove’s Dan Roddis (3/43) and Mick Thornton (3/17) were valuable contributors with the ball on day one.
Ocean Grove will face Barrabool at Barrabool in their final home and away game for the season this Saturday.

In B Grade, Ocean Grove suffered a heart-breaking four-run loss in their top-of-the-table clash against Wallington at Wallington Recreation Reserve on Saturday.
Chasing 179 for victory after Wallington was dismissed for 174 from 67.2 overs on 17 February, the Grubbers fell agonisingly short to be all out for 178 from 67.5 overs.
Ocean Grove bowler Billy Foord Engelsman continued his dominant season, he grabbed 4/58 from 20.2 overs, while Flynn Hardiman captured 4/17 from 10 overs on day one.
Foord Engelsman has taken 33 wickets at 9.21 in 2017/18.
Grubber opener Jay Dawson top scored with 55 on day two, while Wallaby bowler Dane Wise-Graham destroyed the Grubbers middle and lower order with 7/39 from 18 overs.

The Grubbers defeated Jan Juc in their C Grade two-day clash by 39 runs at Ocean Grove Memorial Recreation Reserve on Saturday.
Batting first Ocean Grove compiled 9/175 from 60 overs, while Jan Juc were all out for 136 from 57.3 overs in reply.
Grubber Ben Hughes was a standout after he made an unbeaten 55 with the bat and then backed it up with 3/40 from 18.3 overs.
Ocean Grove bowler Craig Byron took 4/41 from 16 overs.

In D Grade, Ocean Grove thrashed Drysdale by 10 wickets in their D Grade one-day clash at St Thomas Catholic Primary School on Saturday.
Batting first the home side Drysdale was all out for 139 from 38.4 overs.
In reply Ocean Grove finished at 0/143 from 27 overs.
Grubber Dave Bate smashed three sixes and hit 12 boundaries in his innings of 91 not out, while Nathan Taylor remained unbeaten on 40 not out.