A SIZZLING 25-over period with the bat late on Saturday has Ballan already contemplating outright success against VRI Delacombe.
Last season’s Ballarat Cricket Association district division one grand finalists clinched first innings victory at Delacombe after hauling in the home side’s total of 168 shortly before stumps.
Five wickets from captain David Gardiner gave Ballan time to chase the target late in the afternoon, and it was Mick Nolan (82 not out) and Mick Loughnane (62) that got the visitors off to a brilliant start.
The pair combined for a stand of 111 before Jarryd Graham (26 not out) joined Nolan at the crease and carried the team to 1-183 at stumps.
Loughnane, the club president, said Ballan would likely press for an outright to consolidate its place inside the top four.
Before the round nine clash, Ballan was three points clear of fifth-placed Dunnstown.
“It wouldn’t cement us in there, but certainly give us a bit of breathing space from Dunnstown,” he said.
Loughnane, who can’t play the second day of the match against VRI, said it was an even competition in 2012-13, but believed his team’s best was good enough to go all the way.
“Our best is, but we are not consistent. That’s our biggest problem,” he said.
“Our bowling has been good all year, but batting has really been up and down. The last couple of games we seem to have got a bit of consistency going.
“Even though Creswick is out in front I don’t think they are that much better than everybody else.”
Elsewhere on Saturday, Burrumbeet is 0-20 in reply to Dunnstown’s 186 and Lucas made 244 against ladder-leader Creswick Imperials, which are 0-40.