WESLEY-CBC has breathed new life into a below-par season with an outright victory against Nirranda.
The Beavers rolled the Knights for 38 and 93 on day two of the two-day match at Walter Oval to win by an innings and 47 runs.
The outright result was just the second of the season and came after West Warrnambool claimed full points against Russells Creek in round five.
Wesley-CBC paceman Matt Billington was the main destroyer, taking 6-14 in the first innings en route to eight wickets for the match.
Wil Pomorin snared 4-19 in the Knights’ second dig.
Beavers captain Andrew Cheeseman described the win as the batting side’s best for the year.
He said the players were pleased to bat out their 80 overs on day one, finishing on 9-178, and unleash with the ball on a wicket which demanded batsmen play straight.
“I asked the boys for a big effort. To bowl them out for 38 in the first innings was fantastic,” he said.
“The pitch was playing a bit up and down last week when we batted. The plan was to attack the stumps.
“From that we got quite a few lbws and bowleds. That was the only instruction — attack the stumps.”
The Knights’ innings marked the fourth and fifth time they have been all out for under 100 this season.
But Cheeseman backed the division one new boys — who were promoted to the top grade along with East Warrnambool-YCW this season — to remain in division one.
“We definitely respected them. I know a couple of games they’ve had to bat twice but going in before yesterday we were on the same amount of wins,” he said.
“They’ve done well, and East has beaten some good competitive sides over the last two weeks.”
Wesley-CBC picked up 25.78 points for the win, rising to sixth behind fifth-placed Russells Creek and fourth-ranked Woodford.
Woodford is 12.83 points safe in the top four — essentially one match — but its hold on the spot weakened after a loss to ladder-leader Dennington at Jack Keane Oval.
Chasing the Dogs’ 190, the Eels were all out for 149 with Jake McKinnon top-scoring with 38.
Dustin Drew (3-25) and Shashan Silva (3-47) did the bulk of the damage.
Merrivale and West Warrnambool kept the pressure on Dennington and shored up their own finals chances with well-earned wins. Justin Lynch, 86, and Will Chapples, 46, steered the Tigers past Allansford’s 214 on day one, finishing on 6-222 at Merrivale Recreation Reserve.
Matt Brophy took 3-46 for the Gators.
West Warrnambool had 188 to defend against Nestles and did it easy in the end, bowling the Factory out for 135 at Reid Oval. Simon Johnson finished with 5-26 off a marathon 25 overs to collect yet another five-wicket haul.
East Warrnambool-YCW fell 10 runs short of Brierly-Christ Church in a low-scoring match at Jones Oval.
The Broncos were all out for 94 after resuming at 3-49 to fall short of the Bulls’ 104 from day one. Jason Greer (3-12) and Col Pascoe (3-51) were influential with the ball while Mick Townsend held his own with 31 not out.
Russells Creek took outright points in a rollercoaster match against Port Fairy.
Creek resumed day two on 8-102 and was all out for 149 — a lead of 77 — with Jeremy Cook finishing with 33 not out.
The Pirates raced to 8-174 in their second innings (Sam McCartney 85) before declaring, chasing an outright victory themselves.
But Creek was steady enough to reach the target thanks to Bill Quinlivan, who made 39 not out.