TONGALA forfeited its clash with Cooma over the eligibility of a player it played on the opening day of their Goulburn Murray Cricket clash last Saturday week.
Tongala included South African Carlo Scheepers on the first day of its clash with Cooma at Tongala but the GMC board ruled him ineligible because he didn’t meet registration requirements.
Cooma Cricket Club president Russell Barrett said he was told by Tongala president Brendan McGrath his team was better off forfeiting the game – which it did – considering the circumstances.
Tongala president Brendan McGrath said he was disappointed how the GMC had handled the controversy and matters such as this need to be addressed well ahead of next summer and not ‘‘made up as it suits on the go.’’
Cooma is locked into third place which it should hold when it hosts bottom side Echuca South in the final home-and-away round which starts this Saturday.
■Kyabram Fire Brigade was an agonising one wicket away from achieving an outright win against Bamawm Lockington United.
The Flames bundled BLU out in 34.2 overs in its first innings when the game resumed on Saturday and had it 9/99 in its second innings when stumps were drawn.
BLU was facing a daunting 397 runs chase but was never a chance as a combination of pace and spin almost delivered the maximum points for The Flames.
Spinner AJ Woodland had difficulty coping with the heat but finished with 3/25 in the first innings while medium pacer Chris Cleveland picked up 3/9 off eight overs in the second innings.
Paceman Brodie Unwin was also economical in both innings’ with a combined four wickets haul at a total cost of 32 runs.
The Brigade meets top side Rochester United in the final round but would have to win outright to secure top spot going into the finals.
■Stanhope suffered an outright loss to Rochester Tigers after another disappointing batting performance.
Skittled for 87 in its first innings Stanhope fared little better in its second dig, out for 119, leaving Tigers to make 74 in its second innings which it achieved for the loss of only two wickets.
The Tigers sit a game outside the top four but if it beats fourth placed Moama in the final round will slip into the finals.
■ In the other games top side Rochester United had a massive first innings win over Echuca and Moama held a top four spot with a win over Echuca South in a low scoring affair.
COOMA is still alive in its battle to play finals after a big win over Rochester Tigers on Saturday.
Experienced Russell Napier with 76 got a lot of support from Tom Holman (36), Justin Wickham (36) and young Ethan Palma-Ludeman (29) as Cooma built a handy score of 6/208.
Then Liam Thorne destroyed the Tigers batting line-up for 68 in 19.3 overs with a stunning burst of 5/26.
■Fire Brigade’s batsmen set up a big win over Rushworth.
Opener Mick Kent continued his fine season to top score with 43 while Jake Gascoyne (32), Brendan White (28), Troy Bauerle (24) and Rikki Busch (22) chipped in with handy scores as The Flames posted 196.
In reply Rushworth was dismissed in 23 overs for just 38 with Jarrod Chapman picking up three wickets.
■ Tongala lost on forfeit to Northern United while BLU forfeited to Girgarre.
THIRD-PLACED Cooma suffered a loss to fifth placed Echuca but is still in a good position to play finals.
Drew Barrett and Brad Napier both picked up two wickets as Echuca posted 172 but in reply only ageless opener Roger French with 28 put any real resistance as Cooma fell for 95 in 31.4 overs.
■Top side Girgarre was too good for neighbour Stanhope, recording a 66 runs win on the back of some good batting and bowling.
Girgarre posted 8/178 with reliable opener Rick Heathcote with a classy 66, Andrew Morris (36) and Scott Fitzallen (30) leading the way.
Fitzallen also stepped up with the ball taking 4/7 off 3.1 overs as Stanhope crumbled to be out in 38.1 overs for 132.
Stanhope’s top scorers were Tom Hepburn with 36 and Daryl Harrison with 28.
LACHLAN West had a big day out for Rushworth who had a big win over Moama.
West along with veteran Peter Raglus made half centuries and Kane Campbell 35 as Rushworth built a competitive score of 6/212.
Then West stepped up with the ball to take 5/10 off six overs as Moama’s batsmen succumbed for 98.
■Cooma put up a commendable but losing effort against Echuca.
Echuca posted 2/190 and Cooma came up just two runs short of this target with 7/188.
Cooma’s innings was highlighted by a dashing half century, with six fours and three sixes from opener R Bhardwaj and 40 from young talent Mason Scopelliti.
■Fire Brigade and Girgarre won on forfeit from Tongala and BLU respectively.