Tocumwal enter the Christmas break on a positive note in Murray Valley Cricket Association’s Premier Division after comfortably avoiding an outright defeat to Barooga on Saturday.
The Hawks decided to declare immediately on their overnight score of 6/171 and entered the second innings of play with an overall lead of 63.
With overcast and drizzly conditions it was the only decision the Hawks could make in order to try and claim maximum points.
But the Bloods made a real effort and dug in for a big day at the crease.
Openers Daniel Hibberd (33) and Michael Roberts (17) had an opening stand of 47 to all but wipe out the debt.
The wickets of both openers saw only 51 on the board though and it threatened to derail a positive start.
The Bloods continued to milk the ones and twos despite some very effective slow bowling from the Hawks with Justin Maley (3/40 off 13), Kale Watkins (0/23 off 11) and Amar Ullah (2/50 off 19) using the conditions extremely well.
When the big wicket of Jesse Barker (10) was claimed the Hawks were in with a sniff but the middle order of Toc refused to yield.
Brad House (30), Ranji Oliver (40) and Rod Meloury (53) continued to build solid starts.
All three men batted smartly and with some good partnerships, the Bloods’ lead grew.
Despite no one going on to reach triple figures the visitors had reached a point where Barooga were going to struggle to win the match outright.
With the overs winding down, Andy Arthur (20) continued his good batting form as Tocumwal were eventually dismissed after 76 overs for 219.
It left four overs in the day which Barooga used to gain some critical bonus points.
Chris Shaw claimed the only wicket to fall as Barooga reached 1/31 at the end of the day.
Tocumwal resume Premier Division action on January 12 at home to Katamatite.
The Division One clash between Tocumwal and Finley was certainly dominated by the ball and a game the Bloods would rather forget with the Cats continuing their good form.
Winning the toss, the Bloods sent the Cats in and it proved a smart move early as the Cats crumbled to 3/4 in the early stages.
A big 50 run partnership between Murray Urquhart (19) and Russell Anderson (34) got the visitors back on track but wickets continued to fall.
The Cats dug in and with Anthony King’s 14 the tail battled gamely. Finley were eventually all out for 107 in the 39th over.
For the Bloods it again was Keith Stevens-Venville who dominated with a miserly 4/10 from eight overs while Dale Chandler (2/29 off 7.2) and Brodie Woolley (2/29 off six) both snared a brace.
The Bloods’ chase for a win though started in a worse way than the Cats’ innings. In a horrific start the Bloods lost five wickets for just three runs to start the game.
It was a disaster for the hosts and delight for the Cats. Darcy Webb took an amazing 5/8 off six while Anthony King (3/16 off eight) and Paul Massingham (2/10 off 4.5) tore through the rest of the Bloods’ innings.
In a horror show for the Bloods, they were dismissed for just 49 in the 22nd over with only Woolley (10) and Rhett Woolley (17) reaching double figures.
The Division One Bloods play Cobram on January 12.
The Division Two Bloods were beaten by Katamatite on Saturday in what will no doubt be a learning experience for many of the young Bloods in the team.
Katamatite batted first and were restricted to 6/89 from their 35 overs with an unbeaten 39 from Simon Ash the top score. All of the Toc bowlers produced good tight bowling to keep the Tigers to the meagre total.
However the Bloods’ batting wasn’t able to withstand the Tigers bowling with Jordan Dickie (5/11 off seven) and Stefan Nordbye (3/1 off seven) destroying the Bloods batting order.
Tocumwal were all out for just 18 in 17 overs but will have the opportunity to bounce back against CYU on January 12.