Tigers remain in finals hunt

Ryan Millar (Shawn Smits)

Tara Murray

Lancefield’s push for a top four spot in the Gisborne and District Cricket Association Jensen Shield received a massive boost on Saturday.

Facing Hanging Rock in a one-dayer, which was another side fighting for a finals spot, the Tigers came away with a big win.

The Tigers were sent in and made the most of the batting conditions, making 186, bowled out with 11 balls remaining.

Nathan Malone top scored with 50 at the top of the order. Scott Fuller was the pick of the bowlers for the Heelers with three.

The Heelers started well and were 0-35 before the wickets started to fall. At 2-76 they were still on track, but lost 8-8 to be all out for 82.

Harvey Lehner was the star of the bowlers taking 5-10 of his five overs, while Jake O’Meara got three wickets.

Speaking before the game, Tigers coach Alan Sinclair said they were starting to find a bit of momentum.

He said Hanging Rock was also a team in form and that he had expected a tough challenge.

“It’s been an up and down season,” he said. “Hopefully we can win the last three games and achieve the goal of making finals.

“We’ve had availability issues with a few people not available every week. This side of Christmas we’ve started to get our strongest side.

“Last week’s performance was our best performance for a while, it was a pretty dominant performance which was good to see.”

Among those to miss games for the Tigers is Sinclair himself, who tore his ACL and is ruled out for the rest of season.

He said coaching meant that he could still be involved at both training and on match day.

”It’s tough watching but it makes it better when we are winning,” he said. “It’s been good in terms of coaching, I’ve been able to focus on coaching a lot more than when I was playing.”

The win on Saturday has the Tigers in fourth spot with two rounds remaining.

They are three points ahead of Malmsbury and six ahead of Romsey.

They face Romsey and finals bound St Anthony’s in the last two rounds.

“We pretty much need to win all three games and hope results go our way,” Sinclair said. “Hopefully we can sneak into the finals.”

In other results, Malmsbury slipped outside the top four with a loss to Romsey.

The Redbacks made 9-177 from their 40 overs with Daniel Wright top scoring with 33.

Malmsbury skipper Matt Cox took 5-34 off his eight overs to be the pick of the bowlers.

Malmsbury fell well short, finishing 9-143.

Cox top scored with 27.

Melton South Royals and St Anthony’s were the other winners respectively against Aintree and Sunbury United.