TWO cameos from star all-rounder Jon Hyde has all but sealed the minor premiership for Wangaratta cricket powerhouse Bruck.
In a re-match of last year’s grand finalists, Beechworth smashed its way to 1-100 before Hyde struck with the ball.
The medium pacer bowled 12 overs straight to put the brakes on rampaging Wanderers’ opener Stuart Thomson (72) and ended with 5-34 off 19 as Beechworth crashed to be all out for 152.
Bruck then stumbled to 2-9 before Hyde (42 no) and captain Jordan Blades (26no) batted their way to 2-81 at stumps and within sight of victory.
“Jon just delivers week-in, week-out with bat and ball,” Blades said.
“He just hits the spot, asks the question of the batsman every delivery.
“I think he bowled nine maidens and the wickets just came.
“Before that they were belting us all over the place, their opener Stewie Thomson was just unbelievable, but when we got one through him and he was out stumped it all began to turn around.”
Blades said they had played for survival at the end of the day.
“It was certainly a different role for me with the bat,” he said.
“It was a tricky pitch but you just had to tough it out and hopefully reap the rewards next week.
“I’ve put it on the boys to bat the 75 overs next week — it hasn’t been our strength this year and something we need to work on for the finals.”
Blades said there was little advantage in the top spot when it came to the finals.
“It’s one plays four, two plays three and the winners go into the decider,” he said.
“It will be interesting if we play Yarrawonga-Mulwala with the way the competition panned out — neither having played each other before the end of the year.”
Fourth-placed City Colts snuffed out any hope of Corowa playing in the finals with an impressive 7-270 from their 75 overs at Bill O’Callaghan Oval.
Brenton Whale topscored for Colts with a terrific 108 that included 10 fours.
Myrtleford crashed to be all out for 74 against Wangaratta Magpies at Norm Minns Oval, with the home team slipping to 4-48 in reply.