East victory could clear way for North

THIS match suddenly became very important – at least to North Ballarat, playing at Wendouree.

Should East Ballarat chase down Napoleons-Sebastopol’s 220 runs, it will clear the way for North to snatch Naps-Sebas place in Ballarat Cricket Association club first finals.

That is, only if North pulls off the unlikely – an outright victory against reigning premier Wendouree, a team well-versed in sharpening its game late in the season.

As North’s young paceman Ash McCafferty was obliterating Wendouree in a 6-5 haul, the Roosters became very interested in what was happening at East Secondary College.

Napoleons-Sebastopol began preparations for its finals campaign by putting on a healthy 220 runs in day-one action on Saturday.

Play started a little shaky for Naps-Sebas, which lost its first four wickets – including the prized scalp of key scorer Carman Mapatuna – for 53 runs.

Three of such wickets were nabbed by Hawk Josh Brown in his 4-88 haul.

A Liam Rigby half-century bolstered the Naps-Sebas innings.

Rigby got to work, forming solid 46-run partnerships with Ben Trew (20 runs) and Danny Carroll (17) for the fifth and sixth wickets to put Naps-Sebas at 6-145.

He fell soon after, caught out and unable to add another run to the Naps-Sebas tally.

A boundary drive had brought up Rigby’s half-century and ticked his tally over to 51 runs.

Naps’ number eight bat Nathan Doonan gave the lower order bite with a quick-fire 47 runs (5 fours) off 52 balls.

Peter Colbourne (three wickets) and Oli Hayes (two) joined Brown as the Hawks’ multiple wicket-takers.

Colbourne and Carl Haseloff survived two overs at the crease, facing Naps’ Brendan Thomson and Luke Corden, to take eight runs off the chase.

The Hawks – and North Ballarat – need 213 runs at East Secondary College when plays resumes on Saturday.