CULCAIRN’S Steve Brand became the first player to crack the 500-run mark this season when he steered the Lions to victory over Henty at Culcairn on Saturday.
Brand (56) and Vince Chaffey (49) helped the home team reach 3-163 which proved too much for an undermanned Henty line-up who could only manage 8-71 in reply.
The victory saw Culcairn jump into sixth spot on the ladder with two rounds remaining.
The Lions take on Osborne and Rand in the run home while seventh-placed Lockhart meet The Rock-Yerong Creek and Walla.
Brand, who has made 25 or more in 10 of his 13 innings this season, has 512 runs with the classy right-hander admitting he had been rejuvenated by the merger of the Holbrook and Brocklesby associations.
Henty’s Tom Newton (15) and Paddy Murray (10) were the only Swampies to make double figures.
Promising Osborne youngster James Kennedy grabbed six wickets in his side’s two-wicket win over Walla at Walla.
Kennedy picked up 6-20 to help restrict the home team to 124.
But Osborne found batting equally as difficult with Nick Perryman (38) and Darren Howard (26) doing just enough.
Osborne were 8-116 before Ryan Collins and Joe Perryman saw it to victory.
“We had a tie against Walla earlier in the year and it looked like it could be another one on Saturday,” Howard said.
“It was really tight.”
Chris Hutchinson topscored for Walla with 32 while the consistent Tom Simmons made 27.
Walbundrie opener Scott Montgomery narrowly missed a century in the Tigers’ comfortable victory over TRYC.
Montgomery scored 93 with Jarrod Millar chipping in with 40 to ensure a big total was put on the board.
Damian Wardius took three wickets for the victors.
Rand defeated Burrumbuttock by five wickets.
Chasing 6-143 for victory, Pigeon Daniel Lieschke made 52 with support coming from Will Swift who chipped in with 35.
Holbrook proved too strong for Lockhart with Eddie Edlinger and Hayden Wishart proving the destroyers with the ball.
The ladder is: Osborne 63, Holbrook 60, Rand 60, Walbundrie 57, Walla 42, Culcairn 30, Lockhart 30, TRYC 18, Henty 18, Burrumbuttock 6.