HOWLONG is poised to bring Eskdale’s unbeaten run to an end in district cricket.
The Spiders’ Josh Warren-Marmo, having made the switch from Wangaratta’s City Colts in the Christmas break, set up a defendable target with 75, including 12 fours.
Chasing 182, Eskdale slumped to 4/17 before limping to the end of play at 5/51.
Clint Gilson is still at the crease on 23 with Haydon Wilson not out on five.
Howlong captain Scott Montgomery said his team was in a strong position, but Gilson’s was the prize wicket.
“At the end of the innings we thought we were probably 60 runs short of what we needed,” he said.
“But the boys really took control with the ball and Ben Baker took a screamer in the gully to get rid of Shaun Baude.
“Gilson is the key next week. He has been consistent all year and if he sticks around for another 20 overs it is going to be really tight.”
Montgomery said Warren-Marmo had racked up two half centuries in the two games after the Christmas break.
“Certainly he is a great addition to the side and has been crucial in our two most recent games,” he said.
“We lost Craig Mabon just before the break and he had been getting runs too, so Josh has come straight into his spot.”
Meanwhile, Dederang has the better of the gamble to send Barnawartha-Chiltern in on a belter of a pitch at Dederang.
Last year’s beaten grand finalists knocked over the Miners for 104 as the bowlers shared the wickets.
In reply the Demons are 1/56 with prolific run scorers Andrew Creamer and Daniel Perri at the crease.
Captain Creamer said it was a solid effort but could have been even better.
“It was a pretty good batting strip but we decided to put them in and go for the points,” he said.
“Tom Barel bowled really well and had two dropped catches in the first three overs, but that pressure led to wickets at the other end.
“We also ran out Mark Doolan for five, which was a key wicket — he hit 100 against us in a matter of about 10 overs a few years ago.”
Creamer said the Demons would look for maximum points on the second day.
“If we can get to their score without losing any more wickets I will most likely pump Tom Grealy up the order,” he said.
“He can score quickly and then we will see where we are at and whether an outright is even possible.”