Shepparton United could not recover from the body blow that was Mooroopna opener James Downs’ whirlwind 174, but managed to stave off an outright defeat in their round nine C-grade Jim McGregor Shield clash.
After collapsing from 4-101 to all out for 146 in the first innings, United was staring down the barrel of a huge loss, but a hard-fought unbeaten 59 from Robert Beswick-Davison in the second innings helped the home side through the last 20 overs for the loss of only three wickets.
Darren Moroney was the pick of Mooroopna’s bowlers for the match, taking 4-27 in the first innings while also snaring two catches.
Pine Lodge jumped into second spot on the ladder after defeating fellow top four aspirant Euroa on first innings points.
Opener Steven Van Taarling could not go on with his great start, getting trapped in front for 84 by Paul Allen, one of his four victims for the innings.
His half century set up Pine Lodge’s total of 9-190 declared and gave it important points over its rivals in the lead in to finals.
Euroa managed 7-142 in its second innings to allay any fears of an outright loss, with Matthew Walker finishing on 45 not out.
Kyabram upstaged Murchison in a low-scoring tussle, taking the win despite only scoring 97 to move to equal fourth on the ladder and, more importantly, only three points behind Murchison in third.
Opener Jayden Fitzgerald scored more than a third of his side’s low total with 36 in reply to Murchison’s 76.
David Marsters took 4-30 for Murchison in a match dominated by the ball, with the home side only managing 4-76 in its second innings as well.
Central Park-St Brendan’s failed to chase down Old Students’ 197, despite six batsmen reaching double figures.
Jag Singh led the strong bowling display for Old Students with 4-43 to limit the chasing side to 173 and take the points to move into sixth.
Dookie batsmen James Scott and Bradley McKane steered their side to victory with scores of 92 and 110, respectively, to chase down Karramomus’ 276.
No other Dookie player passed 20, with Tony Rowan’s 5-68 a great bowling display in a high-scoring match.