Three into two just won’t settle top four

February 23, 2018

Steve Barrett led the way for Cooma with 140 in day one against Stanhope.

A three-way go for the last two spots in Goulburn Murray Cricket finals will highlight Saturday’s final day of the regular season.

Moama, Cooma and Tongala are all in commanding positions in their respective games, but it would be Tongala to miss out on the post-season should all three win.

Moama and Cooma are on 96 points, with Tongala six points back.

Perhaps the Blues’ best chance to sneak in is Moama’s precariously poised clash with Kyabram Fire Brigade.

Moama has the runs on the board after making 249 on day one, but will have to deal with a fierce Flames batting line-up that has showed an ability to belt big scores.

Their past three displays have been superb; 324 against previously undefeated Rochester United, 3-246 in 45 overs against Rochester Tigers and 0-123 in 14 overs playing Echuca South.

Meanwhile, Cooma is surely in an unloseable position against Stanhope with a remarkable 6-383 made on day one.

Steve Barrett led the way with 140 and skipper Michael Hill got in on the act with 100, with batsmen in form surely sending a scare through the other finals-bound sides.

Stanhope only has one win for the season and has not shown much to suggest it can chase down the big total.

For Tongala, first it must take care of its own encounter with Rochester Tigers.

In a must-win situation, the Blues came up big on day one making 9-287 in their 80 overs.

Darin Ohlsen top-scored with 88, while Adam Nunn (57) and Joel Regan (53 not out) made half-centuries.

The Tigers are well outside finals contention, but despite having nothing to lose will likely find the mountainous task too much to overcome.

Even if the Blues were able to produce an outright win and take 18 points, Moama and Cooma winning should keep them out of finals with a 23 per cent gap to make up.

Echuca is in a brilliant position to close a promising campaign with an outright win, already leading Bamawm-Lockington United by 46 runs with seven wickets in hand.

BLU was shredded for 63 last weekend, somehow avoiding an even more embarrassing total after being 8-17.

Echuca had moved to 3-109 at stumps as Mitch Frew made 39 opening the batting.

Brendan Prendergast (40 not out) and Shaun Hon (13 not out) are the not out batsmen and will look for quick runs before having another crack at the fragile BLU line-up.

In the round’s final contest, Rochester United will claim first innings points against Echuca South, 1-55 at the end of play after bowling South out for 67.

Sitting 24 points clear at the top of the A-grade ladder, United’s top priority would be to tune up for the following Saturday’s first final.

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