Combine and Buangor locked in A Grade battle

The Grampians Cricket Association A Grade title is still in limbo with Buangor and Swifts-Great Western battling it out still at Central Park on Monday.

Combine is in a strong position to claim the title after getting the first innings points and having the option to bat out the final day of the game to win.

Buangor won the toss and elected to bat first with opening batsman Lachie Oddie setting the tone for his team with some clever scoring.

Jim Fraser was the first wicket to fall, bringing Chris Jerram to the crease.

Oddie and Jerram went about building the innings with a 75-run partnership before Jerram was dismissed with Oddie following soon after.

Jack Ganley and Shaun Allen give the team some extra runs in the middle order but no batsman really made any significant impression on the total outside Oddie who top-scored with 59.

Buangor was eventually bowled out for 164 from 58.1 overs.

Jamie Bach and Brady Miller did the damage for Swifts-Great Western, claiming nine wickets between them.

The Combine top order looked steady in their first innings with Sam Cocks his usual aggressive self at the crease.

He reached 21 before being Ganley got him caught out with Ganley claiming the wicket of Rick Peters and James Devery soon enough also.

The impressive spell of bowling left Combine at 3-41 and in danger of losing the first innings.

Damien Joiner and Travis Nicholson steadied the innings with a 67-run partnership in the middle order to take Swifts-Great Western past the 100-run mark.

Joiner was knocked over by Ganley for 37, a score that would not be topped for the rest of the innings.

Dale Hurley and Jamie Bach provided some valuable runs late in the innings, as Combine reached 177 all out to take a 13-run lead into the second innings.

The deficit meant Buangor had to chase quick runs and build a substantial lead while leaving enough time to take 10 wickets to win the A Grade title.

The scoring rate slowed a little in the third innings of the match with Buangor careful not to lose too many early wickets.

Oddie was unable to replicate his first innings effort, dismissed for 13 with Matt Heffer getting the breakthrough.

Heffer was also able to get the wicket of the Buangor captain to leave the team at 2-50.

Fraser was next to be dismissed before Jack Fraser was unable to make it through to stumps on the second day, falling shortly before the end of play to leave Buangor at 4-108 going into the third and final day of the match.

Jayden McCartney and Heffer both finished the day with two wickets each.

Buangor made a solid start to the final day with the batsmen looking settled at the crease.

The team was able to push the tally up to above 150 and was eventually all out for 174, setting Swifts-Great Western 161 to win on second innings.

Jack Ganley and Jack Fraser were the two that made the biggest impact for Buangor with the bat, finishing with 31 and 49 respectively.

The Combine started its run chase positively, as Cocks and Devery were 0-29 from the first eight overs with the team still within reach of the target while keeping wickets in hand if needed later in the day.

Once the first opener fell shortly after, it triggered a mini collapse with Swifts-Great Western slumping to 3-54 and putting the team in a precarious position with the team still needing more than 100 runs.

The wickets game Buangor a sniff of victory with the bowlers making it a close battle on the final day of the match.

Swifts-Great Western was 3-60 at the time of printing and still required 101 runs to wrap-up the second innings and claim the A Grade premiership.

  • Full wrap-up in Friday’s edition and on on