Christmas came early for Moama with a tense, three-run home win against Bamawm-Lockington United on Saturday to give it the Goulburn Murray Cricket A grade lead.
With one round remaining until January, Moama – defending 235 — managed to dismiss the Lions for 232 with less than two overs left in the contest.
The result meant Moama overtook former league leaders Rochester United, who crashed to defeat at Cooma.
In the BLU reply, James McPhee was the mainstay with 88 but the visitors lost their last four wickets for 30 runs.
Greg Pearse made 31 before he was run out with a terrific throw from Josh Waughington, deep in the outfield at third man. Half the rest of the Lions’ batting line-up all got starts but couldn’t go on with the job.
Fortunately for Moama all six of its bowlers took a wicket.
Darcy Elliott finished with 2/61 from 18.3 overs, Anthony McMahon 2/36 off 15 and captain Ben Docking 2/41, also from 15 overs.
Kirk Teasdale, Todd Murphy and Jack Russell all chipped in with one each.
‘‘It was down to good perseverance,’’ Docking said.
‘‘We were behind for a lot of Saturday and we hung in there to get four quick wickets to scrape over the line.’’
Docking agreed Waughington’s run-out tilted the match in favour of the home side.
‘‘Greg (Pearse) was well in control at that stage so it was very fortunate for us,’’ he said.
Docking also praised BLU as a side which certainly confirmed its continued resurgence in the competition.
‘‘They are solid and did really well to restrict us to a below-par score last week,’’ he said.
‘‘They batted well for large parts of day two.’’
Docking said it was great to see all the Moama bowlers taking their turn to have an impact on the game.
‘‘We’re not relying on one or two people to do the bulk of the work for us,’’ he added.
‘‘There’s always someone bobbing up every week to have a good game, which is really pleasing as we go ahead this season.’’
After a week of debate over the early abandonment of day one due to a wet pitch, Stanhope agreed to a one-dayer at Echuca South only to slip up in a big way — all out for a meagre 44.
There were four ducks among the total and captain Jayden Rosin snared a career-best 5/17 off eight overs.
Jake Toll claimed 3/13 and Shaun Haffenden 2/12.
Haffenden came back with the bat to score 12 in a Swans reply of 7/47 — and no other batsman made more than six.
Given that statistic it was probably a relief that the required target was so small for South to secure its first win of the summer.
Tim Wilhelms finished with 4/5 off nine overs but it wasn’t enough to deny the Swans.
Michael Coad had 3/17 in seven overs.
South coach Brad Jones acknowledged while his side had bowled well, there were ‘‘some pretty poor shots’’ played by both teams during the match.
Whether one victory would be enough to boost club confidence to carry beyond the Christmas-New Year break was also debatable, according to Jones.
‘‘We can be confident with the ball,’’ he said.
‘‘The batting wasn’t much to be happy about. Wides probably helped (us win) too. They bowled 19.’’
In other games, Echuca’s 82 all out at Victoria Park wasn’t enough against Kyabram Fire Brigade.
The Flames completed a solid eight-wicket win and ended up batting all afternoon for 243.
Captain Daniel Kent continued his good form with the bat to make 95.
Charlie Hinks was the best of the green machine with the ball, taking 3/5 from four overs.
Rochester Tigers comfortably accounted for Tongala at the Blues’ home ground.
The Blues were bowled out for 84 on day one and had the Tigers 3/49 and 5/69 but the visitors had their measure to take the first-innings points by five wickets.
Tigers captain Jake Wright finished with 41 not out to steer the side home while Tongala’s Adam Nunn took 3/14 from 10 overs.
The Blues went in for a second hit and made 7/116 in 42 overs to stumps.
Cooma caused the second upset defeat for Rochester United in as many rounds.
Defending 71 at home, Cooma blasted through the United batting order — the visitors all out for 52.
Only Elliot Bowen (at number 10) and Jake Perry (number seven) got to double figures.
Bowen’s first namesake in Elliot Ruthven claimed bowling honours for Cooma with 4/15 off 17.3 overs.
Michael Hill followed not far behind with 4/22 from 16.
Cooma then batted again and made 3/105 before the close of play.