A KYALL Timms-inspired Allansford has put itself within reach of a Warrnambool and District Cricket Association finals berth.
The Gators, second in the Hopkins conference, need just 128 more runs with nine wickets in hand to defeat Brierly-Christ Church at Uebergang Oval.
They will resume day two this Saturday at 1-46 in pursuit of the Bulls’ 173, having lost Tim McDonald on the last ball of the day.
Captain Timms again led the way with the ball, snaring 4-49 from 18.1 overs including the key wickets of Nathan Murphy and Stephen Easterbrook.
The wickets took his season tally to 30 at an average of 11.43. He is yet to go wicketless in nine matches this summer.
Justin Fary, 3-43, and Sam McCluggage, 2-49, also got in on the act. Mark Murphy was the only Bulls batsman to stand tall, making 69 as opener.
Timms said the Gators felt in control of the the match, despite McDonald skying a Leigh Pollard ball to mid-wicket to end the day.
“We still need to come out and bat sensibly and look to score but I wouldn’t say it shifted momentum,” he said yesterday.
“We need about 120. If we can’t get that on that wicket we don’t deserve to win.”
Timms praised spinners Matt Brophy and Sam McCluggage for keeping the run rate down during the Bulls’ innings.
Brophy went wicketless but conceded just 14 overs from his 10 overs — the best of the Gators’ five bowlers.
“They’re two spin bowlers and they tied their ends up really well,” Timms said.
‘‘We were able to restrict their runs which in turn builds pressure. When you get that half-chance you’ve got to take that and we did on a couple of occasions.”
The Gators’ display has put them on the verge of a finals berth — an impressive achievement after losing their first two matches after Christmas.
They can end the Bulls’ season with victory, meaning the battle for second will be between them and Woodford with one round to go.
Woodford did itself no favours with a mini batting collapse undoing much of their good work at East Warrnambool-YCW at Jones Oval.
The Eels restricted the Broncos to 230 but lost 3-26 to finish the day on the ropes.
Broncos captain Mick Townsend grabbed two of the scalps.
Earlier, Woodford teen Kory Howlett took a season-best 6-65 to help restrict East to 230, with Joe Whitton top scoring with 53.
Merrivale will defend 7-220 when play resumes in its match against Russells Creek at Merrivale, with Matthew Wilkinson leading the way with 80.
In the Merri conference, Dennington import Daminda Ranaweera crafted a suberb 112 to dig his side out of a hole against Port Fairy at Avery’s Paddock.
Ranaweera and teen Nick King put on 111 for the fifth wicket to lift the Dogs to 9-234 after they slumped to a precarious 4-62. King made 32.
Englishman Phil Coleman was the pick of the Pirates’ bowlers with 3-38 from 11 overs.
And Wesley-CBC took day-one honours in its match against Nestles at Walter Oval, bowling the vistors out for 147 and finishing at 2-47.
Matt Hoy and Ben Evans took three wickets each for the Broncos while Corey Gallichan made 38 for the Factory.