ROCHESTER United has opened its final match of the Goulburn Murray Cricket home-and-away season with a dominant display against Echuca South.
United, in almost a tune up for the finals, dismissed South for just 67. In reply, the reigning premier had compiled 55 runs for the loss of one wicket.
South won the toss and chose to bat, with opening pair Luke Thompson and Hugh Nelson looking to make a strong start.
The two could never settle into a partnership, with Nelson making his way to 10 before being run out by Angus Martin.
New man Chris Uys also met the same fate, run out by Martin for a golden duck and South was in early trouble at 2/20.
While Thompson attempted to stay in the middle, new man Danny Lolicato found himself caught off the bowling of Jake Perry, also for a duck.
Wicket keeper Brad Jones did not fare any better, caught off the bowling of Myles Wade.
With wickets falling around him, Thompson was unable to stem the tide, Angus Martin again in the action, claiming the wicket with Sean Williams taking the catch.
Joseph Hamilton was also unable to maintain a strong presence at the crease, falling just one run later, South in serious trouble at 6/30.
The side continued to struggle with the bat — Shaun Haffenden making three, while Jack Duggan made just one.
There was some late attack in the lower order however, James Connoley top scoring for the team from ninth with an unbeaten 21.
Unfortunately he did not get much support, with Ky Hodson out for four.
The final man, James Larcombe, also made four, with the side routed for 67.
In a true team effort that will give the side even more confidence going into the finals, no bowler took more than two wickets individually.
Just 67 behind and looking to setup an outright victory, Jordan Garrett and Corey Windridge looked to cut the deficit quickly.
Winbridge, however, was not able to last long, making just two as the side fell to 1/11.
Tim Bubb joined Garrett, with the two batting until the close of play, closing out at 1/55, Garrett unbeaten on 33.
■ ACROSS in Tongala, Rochester Tigers’ bowlers were out of luck.
Sending Tongala in, the Tigers struck two early blows with Jayden Tucker and Blake Campbell both back in the pavilion before either could get a start, leaving Tonny reeling at 2/10.
Unfortunately, that was the end of the good news for the side.
Darin Ohlsen and Adam Nunn would put together a 140-run partnership from this point, advancing the side to 2/150.
It was Nunn who would be the man to fall, dismissed for 57.
13 runs later with the score on 163, Ohlsen was out, stumped on 88.
Jamie Garde (11) and John Copeland for a duck didn’t add much to the score, but the team was in a strong position at 6/178.
Travis Johnstone held the middle order together with 36, but when Elijah Gillie fell for 16, he was joined by Joel Regan, who played a classy innings to end unbeaten on 53.
Fraser Cleary was the hero for the Tigers, taking five wickets.
At the closure of play at the 80-over mark, Tongala was 9/287, setting up a big chase for the Tigers.