TWO leaders reaffirmed the motto that actions speak louder than words with match-winning displays in Warrnambool and District Cricket Association action.
Allansford skipper Kyall Timms and his Russells Creek counterpart Nathan Divall proved the difference in their Hopkins conference matches on Saturday.
Timms took a season-best 8-66 to steer the Gators to a 73-run win over East Warrnambool-YCW on a flat pitch at Uebergang Oval.
East Warrnambool-YCW was all out for 178 in pursuit of Allansford’s 251 from day one. The Gators batted again and reached 4-137 by stumps.
Divall was likewise crucial. He posted 127 opening the innings to steer Russells Creek to an eight-wicket win against Woodford at Jetty Flat.
Creek finished with 8-302 in reply to the Eels’ 198. Paul Walker also made 52 as club stalwarts led the way in the upset.
A team effort rather than individual heroics was decisive in the other match, with Merrivale scoring a remarkable one-wicket win against Brierly-Christ Church.
The Tigers, chasing the Bulls’ 200, were 5-78, 7-148 and 9-179 at various stages at Brierly Recreation Reserve, before finishing all out for 229.
Tom Ludeman (43) and Luke Pearson (26 not out) put up the resistance, turning likely defeat into a remarkable win with a 50-run partnership at the death.
The wash-up was Merrivale remains clear on top with 40 points. Allansford and Woodford have 24 each while Brierly-Christ Church is a game back with 18.
Timms said his eight-wicket haul was the second of his career. He took 8-18 for Macarthur against Hamilton on a bowler-friendly pitch in 2006-07.
“To be honest, I don’t think I bowled anything special (on Saturday), just straight. Things went my way,” he said.
“I was very well backed up in the field by our wicketkeeper Rowan Ault and Justin Fary got a good catch in slips.
“I don’t think too much about it when I bowl. I just try and bowl at the stumps and luck was on my side.”
Timms said he took pride in both eight-wicket hauls. He acknowledged the significance of being able to help Allansford to its first two-day win.
“Yesterday’s effort means a fair bit. We need to keep winning to progress to the finals,” he said.
“To be able to lead the way and contribute in a positive way for the team and the club is pretty important to me.
“It puts us second. We need to keep winning, it’s a very even competition — Woodford got beaten (on Saturday).
“We’ve got Brierly and Russells Creek in our last two games and both are good teams. There are no easy games in our conference.”
Divall was likewise pleased he could contribute to a win. His century was his fifth for Russells Creek and third in division one.
“Being able to lead by example on the field is just as important as whatever you can say off the field,” he said.
Divall said he was pleased his men could build partnerships throughout their innings — part of their game which has lacked this summer.
Divall and Riley Owen put on 47 for the first wicket. The skipper then added 113 with Walker and 69 with Shanaka Perumpuli.