A one-man show from Tatura captain Tim Kelly was not enough to stave off defeat against Mooroopna as round 10 of the Haisman Shield wrapped up Saturday.
Kelly came to the crease with his side flailing at 3-30 in the face of the target of 302 the Cats set last week, but immediately set about making life hard for the bowling side in 35°C-plus heat.
The Tatura captain crafted a patient 81 from 135 balls to ensure his side made Mooroopna work for the win, but found little scoring help around him.
Opener Caiden Pratt worked extremely hard for his 15, absorbing 57 deliveries before departing, while Tom Vibert was the only other batsman to reach double figures, remaining not out on 10 as the bottom side was bowled out for 145 in the 61st over.
‘‘A lot of the boys didn’t manage big scores, but it was pleasing that most were able to stay in for a while and soak up some balls,’’ Kelly said.
‘‘That was our aim going into today, to try to bat out the overs, so we’ll take plenty out of that going forward.’’
Simon D’Elia finished with the best bowling figures of 3-17 from 15 overs, but in an all-round performance with the ball Aaron DiFede (3-24) and Paul Marshall (2-52) also chipped in to secure the win for the Cats.
‘‘We really set it up with early wickets, but the pressure throughout from D’Elia and DiFede was great,’’ Cats captain Andrew Cowen said.
‘‘It was a really commanding and pleasing performance from the boys to never let the game get away from us.’’
Mooroopna then took the opportunity to switch its batting up and give the lower order a chance for valuable practice leading into finals.
Josh Macansh (21) and D’Elia (24 not out) made the most of the opportunity, while Kelly and Zavier Ballis (both 2-12) snagged consolation wickets as the Cats amassed 5-60 from 15 overs.
‘‘It’s good to give the young guys a run and give them a taste, you never know what’s around the corner with injuries or game circumstances and we need to be able to call on them with confidence,’’ Cowen said.
Mooroopna is within six points of ladder leader Central Park-St Brendan’s with another two-day match against seventh-placed Numurkah to come in the penultimate round of the regular season, but Cowen said his charges would not be getting ahead of themselves.
‘‘Regardless of other results we’ll continue to do what we’ve been doing and try to keep the good feelings flowing,’’ Cowen said.
Tatura will face Karramomus this week, a match it will be hoping it can take control of for its second win of the season.
‘‘Taking five wickets in 50 minutes late in the day shows that we’ve still got pride in our performances and gives us a lot of confidence going into next week,’’ Kelly said.
Mooroopna 5-302 (Paul Marshall 109 not out, Mark Kitto 65, Jess Petherick 1-32, Tom Vibert 1-41) and 5-60 (Simon D’Elia 24 not out, Josh Macansh 21, Tim Kelly 2-12, Zavier Ballis 2-12) defeated Tatura 145 (Tim Kelly 81, Caiden Pratt 15, Simon D’Elia 3-17, Aaron DiFede 3-24).
Tim Kelly (Tatura): The Tatura captain did it all on Saturday, spending more than two hours at the crease for his 81 before striking twice with the ball late in the day. Kelly will be unhappy he could not drag his team to an unlikely victory, but left it all on the field in tough conditions.