TWO outright wins, one down-to-the-wire triumph, one epic run chase and yet more controversy.
Round six of the Warrnambool and District Cricket Association division one season had almost everything.
The controversy was at Jack Keane Oval, where an umpiring error denied Woodford 10 overs in its Hopkins conference match against Allansford.
The match lost 70 minutes to rain on day one, reducing it from 160 to 140 overs across the two days of play.
Woodford bowled Allansford out for 133 in 56.2 overs. Under WDCA bylaws 11.3.2 and 11.3.7, the Eels should have had 70 overs for their run chase.
But the umpires called off the match after 60 overs, with Woodford reaching the target with six wickets in hand and finishing on 8-148.
The error would have sparked a bigger controversy had the Eels not won. But coach John Houston was far from happy yesterday.
“I had a discussion with the umpires (on day one), I couldn’t get them around it,” he said.
“They said it was 60 overs (each side) for the match and I thought it was only 60 overs for that day.
“If that was their interpretation at that point in time, we have to play with that.
‘‘It was lucky we got the runs.
“At the end of the day it was disappointing we finished at 20 past four.
‘‘We want to play cricket, we’ve lost enough cricket as it is.”
Elsewhere in the Hopkins conference, Russells Creek produced the run chase of the season to upstage Brierly-Christ Church at Brierly.
Creek, chasing the Bulls’ 6-238, was on the brink of defeat at 6-119 when Shanaka Perumpuli departed for one.
But Paul Walker, Adrian Benson and Ben Boyd came to the rescue in remarkable fashion to lift their side to a first win.
Walker and Benson put on 77 for the seventh wicket before Walker departed for 78, with the score 196.
Benson and Boyd ensured the points by adding 94 for the eighth wicket. Benson made 80 and Boyd added 47 and Creek finished on 9-308.
Creek captain Nathan Divall said the win had generated confidence within the side after a horror pre-Christmas run.
He credited the efforts of his experienced trio, although ruled out elevating them up the order at the expense of emerging teenagers.
“Paul’s innings was really solid, everyone was able to build around him,” he said.
“Adrian’s form has been fantastic for the last month, a 30, a 40 and an 80.
“And Ben, his last two hits have both been just short of half-centuries.”
Allansford and Brierly-Christ Church losing meant Merrivale moved clear on top thanks to beating East Warrnambool-YCW outright at Jones Oval.
The Tigers had 9-243 on the board and routed the Broncos twice on Saturday, for 127 and 100.
Matthew Petherick produced one of the bowling performances of the season to finish with 10 wickets for the match.
Petherick had taken two wickets in two matches before starring with 6-44 and 4-19 — plus a run out — in the two innings.
In the Merri conference, Brad Parsons led Port Fairy to outright points against Wesley-CBC at Avery’s Paddock.
The Pirates resumed day two on 8-150 and finished on 198, thanks in a large part to 40 from Sam McCartney.
Parsons then collected 6-33 as the Beavers were all out for 100 in their second innings, to go with 81 from the previous weekend.
West Warrnambool survived a thriller against Nestles at Reid Oval, passing the Factory’s 9-172 with just two wickets in hand.
Captain Michael Threlfall was the glue that held the innings together, making an assured 61 to help the Panthers recover from 4-56 and make 174.
And Dennington eased to victory against Nirranda but was denied outright points by the Knights’ resilience at Dennington.
Nirranda, chasing 9-278, made 137 in its first innings and was 5-163 second time around at the close of play.
Jay Wynd finished with 53 and 73 while Corey Couch made 50 in the first innings.
Jack Lee (4-21) and Mick Rantall (4-15) were the pick of the Dogs’ bowlers.