Yackandandah and Baranduda’s hopes of hosting a home final will rest on day two of their penultimate round clash.
The home club ripped through Baranduda for only 110, but the visitors replied to snare 5-48.
“The wicket actually wasn’t too bad, there were some bad shots, but both teams bowled really consistent line and length,” Baranduda’s Mitch Ryan said.
Baranduda won the toss, but might have regretted the decision to bat after surviving only 44.1 of the allotted 70 overs.
Rohan Pearce (24) top-scored for the second successive week, with off-spinner Cooper Garoni claiming 4-35 from nine overs.
“He didn’t bowl many bad balls, he just kept the pressure on and bowled really well,” Ryan said.
Pearce then stole the limelight with 3-15 from seven overs.
“He was our pick of the bat and ball,” Ryan said.
“He’s recovered from an injury the last couple of seasons.
“He’s come back bigger and better this year.
“He had a side strain so he couldn’t bowl.
“He’s fairly sharp, I think on his day he’d be one of the quickest in district.”
Given its paltry total, Baranduda could have quickly lost touch with the match, but Ryan says the players were determined to make the most of any opportunity.
“It was just backing our bowlers to do the job, taking every chance and believing we can do it,” Ryan said.
“We know we’ve got a good attack and when we’re on, we believe we’re one of the best attacks in the competition.”
Yackandandah carried a lead of 2.06 points over Baranduda into the match.
The pair is only a few points behind ladder leaders Wodonga and second-placed Dederang.
“Anything in the top three would be perfect for a home final,” Ryan said.
Meanwhile, fellow finals contenders Wodonga and Corowa also appear evenly poised.
Wodonga scored 196, with Daniel Athanitis (4-10) outstanding, while Brady Bartlett also chipped in with 3-40.
The home team is 0-1.
Bethanga won the toss and tallied 174 from 49.4 overs against Kiewa.
Brent de Vries snared his best figures for the season with 4-35.
The home outfit is 3-87.
Mount Beauty made 143 against Eskdale, which is 1-16, while Howlong posted 179 against Dederang, Andrew Dishot with 6-30.
And CAW has named its grand final venues.
Tallangatta’s Rowan Park will host provincial for the second successive year, while New City’s Urana Road Oval has second grade.
Bethanga is home to district first grade, while Baranduda has second grade.