GCA - Aradale has secured third position on the Grampians Cricket Association ladder following a convincing win over its closest rival Buangor on Saturday.
The 55-run victory was enough for Aradale to open up a commanding 12-point buffer between third and fourth spot on the competition table with two rounds remaining before finals.
Aradale captain Matt Baldock won the toss on Saturday and elected to bat first on the green turf pitch at Alexandra Oval.
It wasn't the start Baldock was looking for however, with both opening batsmen dismissed cheaply to see Aradale in trouble early at 2/9.
Matt Stasse and Brent Tate then put on an innings saving 65-run partnership before Stasse was removed for 39.
Tate (43) continued on with John Butler (21) to see Aradale's score pass 100.
Buangor bowler Phil Brady then led a resurgence, ripping through the lower order batsmen to finish with five wickets for 39 and ensure his team had an achievable run chase of 140 for victory.
Despite openers Tyson Carr (12), Jack Fraser (11) and Chris Jerram (10) getting starts, Buangor never really looked to threaten with the bat.
Jamie Dowling (3/5) and Stasse (2/4) were the chief destroyers for Aradale, as Buangor was skittled to be all out for 84 in the 33rd over.
It was another strong performance from the Tatyoon lineup, which downed Pomonal by 62 runs.
Lachie Laidlaw was again the star of the show with the bat for Tatyoon, top scoring with 42.
Andrew McDougall also chipped in with a handy 31, however a mini collapse late in the innings gave Pomonal a slight chance with Taty posting a total of 141.
Luke Jordan claimed four scalps, while Rick Oliver (3/35) and Al McKay (2/25) also helped create a contest for Pomonal.
The Pomonal innings was a calamity of errors, with Lyndon Brown and Jon Pollock helping move the score into double figures before the side lost four wickets for no runs to be in disarray at 4/17.
Tatyoon wasn't giving an inch in the field, with two classic run outs to Jarrod Blandford and Matt Harris.
Only Scott Spark (24) provided any resistance for the Tigers, with the Tatyoon bowlers sharing the wickets around.
Arthur Armstrong took three wickets for 18, while Harris and Michael Harricks each claimed two.
Swifts/Great Western was made to work for its victory against a defiant Youth Club team.
Steve LeGassick looked to get the Clubbers away to a solid start with his knock of 22, however the captain struggled to build a partnership as wickets tumbled around him.
Jamie Solyom came to the crease at 3/22 and the experienced pair then started to build up a respectable score.
When LeGassick fell, Todd Matthews (20) picked up the slack and provided Solyom with good support.
One run short of his half century, Marc Brilliant struck to remove Solyom, who had smashed five boundaries on his way to 49.
Brilliant (4/17) continued to find a break through just when the Combine required it, however Youth Club’s tail managed to dig in and the visitors finished 8/122 after the 40 overs.
Sam Cocks once again gave Swifts/Great Western a start, with 32 runs before edging one to the keeper off the bowling of Anthony Wilksch.
Wilksch and his fellow bowlers battled hard, but wickets were few and far between for the Clubbers.
Nic Clough (29*) and Tom Eckel (24*) eventually guided the Combine to victory with eight overs to spare.
● In B grade Pomonal bowler Joshua Abbott finished with the impressive figures of 6/10 from five overs in his team’s win against St Andrews.