By Mr & Mrs IT Gully
IT was always going to be a really tight finish in MPCA Peninsula Cricket, and that proved to be the case on Saturday.
The cricket has been hot in this division all season and picking a top four at any stage was always fraught with danger.
However, Flinders came out on top with 108 points, while Main Ridge were second with 98, Long Island third on 90, Moorooduc fourth, also on 90.
To highlight the closeness of the season Somerville just missed out on 86 points, as did Pines with 78 and Red Hill with 78. Delacombe Park finished bottom on 60 points and will be relegated to District next season.
Main Ridge simply had to beat Red Hill to play finals.
The Hillmen batted first and were rolled for 158, Riley Shaw top scoring with 46, Tim Collette hitting 34 and Ben Shorthouse contributing 30.
The Ridge’s Owen McEncroe was the pick of the bowlers with 3/35 off eight overs.
The Ridge needed somebody to stand up and take control of the contest. This came in the form of skipper Nick Jewell who opened the innings and set the team up with 65.
Will Noall hit 35 and Gareth Wyatt finished unbeaten on 39 to guide The Ridge to 4/161 off 37 overs.
Flinders may have taken the points against Long Island on Saturday to finish on top of the ladder, however, it wasn’t overly impressive in its victory.
Skipper Neil Barfuss again played a lone hand hitting 72 including nine fours and two sixes before snaring 3/5 off five overs with the ball.
Come this weekend his teammates need to rally behind him and contribute. Flinders’ Charlie Burgess opened with 31 and Mason Mail hit 19 to help Flinders to 157. James Paxton was the pick of the bowlers for Long Island with 4/23, while Andrew Tweedle snared 3/42 off eight.
Long Island was never in the contest with the bat with Stuart Doolan top scoring with 40 and Pubudu Edirisinghe hitting 25.
While Barfuss took three wickets, Max Royal also contributed strongly picking up 3/16 off eight.
Moorooduc snatched fourth place on the ladder with a convincing 50 run win over Pines.
The Ducks batted first and made 6/198, Shamith Kannangara hitting 62 and Pathum De Mel top scoring with 64.
Justin Mc Cleary was important at the end with an unbeaten 34.
In reply, Pines’ Nick Wilcox was the only batsman to offer resistance with 35.
Harley Parker contributed with 25.
However, despite batting their full 40 overs, Pines could only score 9/149.
Reece Cordeux and Michael Whincup each snared three wickets.
Somerville was prevented from playing finals cricket by Delacombe Park.
The team that has now been relegated. The Parkers must be the best team that has ever been relegated, after all, they smashed the Eagles by 114 runs on Saturday.
Batting first the Parkers made 8/274 with Steve Anderson top scoring with 59, Jon Guthrie hitting 50 and Nick Christides smashing 49, including five sixes.
In reply, Somerville was bowled out for 160 in the 24th over. Justin Allsopp top scored with 52.
Dean Blight was the pick of the Parkers’ bowlers with 4/50.
Christides took 3/10 off 2.2 overs.