Broadford versus Avenel will be the match everyone will be watching this weekend for the second day’s play in the Seymour District Cricket Association.
The second versus fourth match up is crucial with only one game remaining in the home-and-away season at the completion of this round and will likely decide in what order the top four sides finish.
The match is completely in the balance after day one.
Winning the toss and batting first, home side Avenel got off to a strong start with opening partners Kasey Duncan (25) and Tom Burke (41) making a combined 37, before Duncan was found leg before wicket from the bowling of Broadford’s Braden Hickey.
That was number one of five wickets chief destroyer Hickey took from his 27 overs on the day.
But not before the home side had put together 211 runs all out off 77 overs.
Harrison Wheeler topscored, smashing an astounding 69, including five boundaries.
Along with Hickey’s 5-56, Travis Blackwell took 2-21 and the remaining three wickets were shared between Lee McKenzie, Taylor Shell and Mitchell Collier.
In response, with only two overs remaining in the day, Broadford sent in night watchmen Blair Hobba (2 not out) and Jack Connell (0 not out) to finish the day at 0-3.
Day one’s result leaves it all to play for on Saturday.
In other A-Grade matches, the results were not so close.
Fifth-placed Eastern Hill took on third-placed Yea Tigers at Kings Park in Seymour and it was the Tigers who finished the day the happier side.
Batting first, Yea’s top order put together strong partnerships to see the side through to declare on 4-231.
Cameron Armstrong (97) put the lower-ranked side to the sword, falling just short of a huge century, while he combined with Marc Steiner (76) for a partnership of 90 runs.
Declaring on 4-231 meant there was still six overs left in the day — enough time for Yea’s bowlers to nab the wicket of Hayden Sherwood for a 13-ball duck.
Day one’s play left Yea firmly in the drivers seat, with all of day two to dismiss Eastern Hill, which finished up at 1-17.
And in the third and final A-Grade match, top of the tree Tallarook is in the process of dismantling wooden spooners Kilmore.
Played in Kilmore, the home side batted first only to be the subject of a Will Dundon six-for.
Dundon showed no mercy as he clobbered not just the openers, but the middle order and tail too.
Before they could blink, the home side was all out for 131 off 51 overs, leaving 16 overs in the day’s play.
Tallarook lost one wicket before the day was out, ending on 1-33 — opener Lachlan Watts leads the charge on 21 not out.
In other SDCA grades, B-Grade saw Broadford defeated by Royals, Tallarook defeated Seymour, Kilmore was defeated by Eastern Hill, Alexandra defeated Yea Tigers and Pyalong defeated Avenel.
Alexandra, Royals and Pyalong are locked on top, equal on points with three rounds remaining in the normal season.
In C-Grade, Royals were defeated by Puckapunyal Wanderers, Puckapunyal Nomads defeated Kilmore, Broadford Black defeated Broadford Red, Eastern Hill was defeated by Alexandra and Seymour defeated Pyalong.
Those results leave Broadford Black nine points clear atop the C-Grade ladder with three rounds remaining.