Tatura remains in the hunt for a Haisman Shield finals berth after winning a crucial clash against Mooroopna on Saturday.
Rain forced the match to be reduced to 20 overs per side and the Cats struggled to find any momentum after being sent in to bat, falling to 2-4, 4-11 and 6-29 before a late-order fightback steered them closer to triple figures.
Tatura coach Tim Kelly was full of praise for his bowling unit’s ability to strike regularly.
‘‘It was a really great bowling performance and was set up by Tom (Dinnis) and Jess (Petherick) at the start,’’ Kelly said.
Mark Kitto (23) and Brad Boyle (17 not out) led Mooroopna’s rearguard action from number eight and nine respectively, but Tatura’s extras count (15) was the third highest contributor to the total of 8-84.
Along with Dinnis’ 1-4 from four overs and Petherick’s 1-6 from two, Kelly (2-16), Louis Worm (2-17) and Connor Hayes (2-21) also managed to restrict the home side well at Mooroopna Main Oval.
The Cats did their best to contain Tatura’s chase, with co-captain Jeremy Mullane (2-25), Simon D’Elia (1-6) and Will Hale (1-17) all snaring wickets, but Michael Archer (21) and Tom Miller (20) were able to break the shackles enough to afford Kelly (12 not out) and Dinnis (nine not out) enough breathing space.
Kelly thought Miller and Archer were instrumental in his side reaching 5-85 with three overs to spare.
‘‘In the context of the game, Michael Archer and Tom Miller’s run-a-ball 20s were crucial knocks and pretty much got us over the line,’’ he said.
‘‘If we had lost the game the gap between us and the top six would have been 2 games and we almost would have had to win every game from here on out.
‘‘But now we’re back in it.’’
Tatura and Mooroopna straddle the line between securing a post-season berth and heartbreak, with the former nine points adrift of the latter.