By Justin Flynn
Ocean Grove won a thrilling round 3 BPCA A1 Grade encounter against Inverleigh and in the process stamped itself as a genuine contender for this season’s premiership.
Inverleigh batted first and made 133 all out with Ocean Grove’s bowlers standing tall.
Lindon Giuffrida was magnificent with 3-21 and Rob Routley delivered at the back end of the innings with 3-19 while Jackson Kent and young debutante Tahj Wirth chimed in with two wickets each.
Grove’s run chase started brilliantly with a 40-run stand between Fletcher Long and Shaun Fankhauser, who each made 23.
At 7-108, things looked dire but Kent completed a fine game by making 27 not out off 25 balls to steer the Grubbers home in the final over.
The official result, however, is being investigated by the BPCA.
Queenscliff caused an upset by beating Jan Juc in what is already looking like a very even season across the board.
Jan Juc made a competitive 8-190 with Jordi Withers making 64 from 75, Brad Roberts 35 from 53 and run machine Ben Grinter 32 from 42.
The Coutas made the runs, reaching the total with seven wickets and three overs remaining.
Tim Frankenburg made 56 from 68 while gun bat Frank Mileto made 41 not out from 29 and Kane Leathem 36 not out from 44 and Oliver Skurrie 33 from 56 played their part.
St Leonards continued to defy its doubters with a superb win against Barrabool without star runmaker Andrew Spengler, who was unavailable.
Barrabool made 127 batting first with maestro Kane Pickering making 54, but the Saints’ bowlers were on song with Cam Egan and Steve Grey picking up two wickets each and Chris Hockey was miserly, conceding 19 from his eight overs while also grabbing a wicket.
Left-handler Robbie Cutajar put the game to rest with a brilliant 69 from 86 balls to remind everyone of his undoubted talent.
Cutajar and Kale Hoggins (22) put on 93 for the first wicket to get the Saints home.
Anglesea beat Collendina by 102 runs.
Wicket-keeper Ty Norman made 51 from 85 for Anglesea in its innings of 7-198 while Brett Harding made 35 from 47.
If not for the valiant efforts of veteran quick Charlie Lamb, Collendina would have been chasing many more. Lamb took 1-14 from eight immaculate overs and reminded the competition of his pure talent.
However, Dina made just 96 in reply with six ducks. Jacob Gasier (31) and Justin Miller (35) did their best but the Seas’ attack was too good.