BROWN Hill remains well and truly in the hunt for back-to-back glory after an epic two days of battle with Golden Point in the Ballarat Cricket Association firsts grand final.
The Pointies, chasing their first flag since 2002, managed a narrow first innings advantage and then reached stumps with a 159-run lead on the Bulls.
But that hasn’t worried Brown Hill skipper Ryan Knowles, who believes his side is well placed heading into the second weekend of play at Eastern Oval.
“They (Golden Point) would rather be in a better position, I reckon. With more runs and less wickets,” Knowles said.
“I reckon we have fought back pretty well.”
Knowles is confident his team can chase down a target during the third or fourth day of the contest.
“It’s a good batting deck. Batsmen have been getting themselves out more so than what the deck is doing,” he said.
Golden Point skipper Josh White is also pleased with his team’s position in the match.
“160 in front now with four wickets in hand, I’m pretty confident we won the weekend, I suppose,” White said.
“I think we are probably up and the pressure is on them. They’ve got to bat last.”
After winning the toss, Knowles sent Golden Point in for a bat.
And the decision reaped early rewards when his brother Jason had both openers back in the sheds with the score at just 20.
White and Simon Ogilvie then gathered some momentum and put together the best partnership of the match so far.
The pair combined for a 70-run stand before Ogilvie was dismissed for 50.
White hung around until eventually departing for 48, and this signaled the start of a collapse that saw the Pointies slip from 5-141 to be all out for 164.
Daniel White was the only other batsman to reach double figures, with his knock of 28 coming from 25 balls.
Brown Hill had 20 overs to face late on day one and did so in fighting fashion.
Golden Point snared the wickets of Dan Davies and Austin Murphy before Ryan Knowles and Shane Harwood dug in until stumps were pulled at 2-35.
With the match delicately poised at the start of day two, it was Golden Point that ultimately got the result it wanted.
Ogilvie proved the star weapon on Sunday and helped topple the Bulls 18 runs shy of Point’s total.
He snared figures of 5-51, and with Bailey Van De Heuvel chiming in with 3-38, Brown Hill was bundled out for 146.
Tim Knowles was the best of the Bulls’ batsmen, with his quick-fire 36 coming from 24 balls and including five fours and two sixes.
It was then Harwood’s turn to spring some life into the Brown Hill fightback.
The former Australian paceman tore through the Point top order to have his rivals in strife at 3-16, and when Davies struck shortly after, they were in deep trouble at 4-31.
Enter Saman Jayantha.
After missing out in the first innings, the Sri Lankan import batted beautifully and helped steady his side when the Bulls were charging.
Jayantha finished the day unbeaten on 78, with Golden Point recovering to be 6-141 in their second dig.
Meanwhile, Burrumbeet has claimed the one-day B-grade premiership.
In a best-of-three grand final series, the Burrumbeet boys beat VRI Delacombe on both Saturday and Sunday to hold an unassailable lead.
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