WOODFORD, Killarney, Grampians and Portland Colts remain in the running for Sungold Cup glory.
The four sides won their knockout quarter finals as part of the $15,000-to-win tournament yesterday to progress to the semi-finals.
They will converge on Allansford Recreation Reserve today knowing they already pocketed a minimum $2500.
Healthy crowds were at Davidson Oval and Dennington Recreation Reserve for day one of the inter-association tournament and the cricket lived up to expectations.
Woodford, the Warrnambool and District representative, made 8-133 and dismissed South West Cricket’s Noorat for 112 in 18.1 overs in the opening match at Davidson Oval.
Jake McKinnon top scored with 44 while openers Luke Wines (31) and Nick Butters (17) put on another 50-run stand.
Grassmere representative Killarney collapsed to 5-20 and laboured to 7-107 in the late match at Davidson Oval.
But a disciplined bowling and fielding display helped it limit Grampians’ contender Aradale to 8-88 and move into the final four.
Skipper Brett Halliwell spoke with pride to his players post-match, highlighting their superiority in the field as being central to the win.
“I think we fielded a lot better than what they did,” he said.
“They let a few go, probably gave us 15 or 20 runs.
“And I think they defended a bit (with the bat), got themselves in a bit of a hole.
“We were able to pick up wickets as we went.”
Across at Dennington, Portland and District representative Portland Colts compounded a miserable day for their Colac and District rival Irrewarra.
The match, the first of the day at the venue, started 30 minutes late after Irrewarra’s team bus blew a tyre near Panmure.
The players were initially unable to remove the damaged wheel, despite having two mechanics in their ranks.
It took the intervention of Camperdown football coach Bernard Moloney, who answered an SOS phone call, to help the stranded cricketers call in to nearby farm houses.
Portland Colts eventually made 8-137 and all but secured the win after reducing Irrewarra to 3-5.
The Redbacks finished on 9-112 but were rarely in the hunt.
“From (the early collapse) we got a few runs steadily but we were never in the game, really,” Irrewarra captain Dave Jackson said yesterday.
Hamilton and District contender Grampians took the win against Mount Gambier’s North Gambier in the late match at Dennington.
Grampians made 7-148, with Victorian under 19 representative Sam Kerber (52) and Stephen Field (38) combining for a 98-run opening stand.
North Gambier finished at 9-117 in reply.
Dylan Silvey made a handy 40.
Grampians captain Will Collins said his men would have to improve today.
“I think our fielding needs to lift from what it was today,” he said.
“We bowled pretty well but there were a couple of misfields that went for four and some people fielding on the boundary that were dawdling.
“With our batting, after our opening partnership we lost wickets too regularly.”