IT will be hard for any match in this season's Ballarat Cricket Association's Firsts to come close to the absolute thriller which played out on Saturday at Eastern Oval.
Golden Point and Ballarat-Redan produced one of the best matches ever seen in the BCA, with two players, firstly Golden Point's Josh White and then, Ballarat-Redan opener Zac Jenkins, scoring unbeaten tonnes, Jenkins leading his side to a remarkable last-ball win.
On a stunning wicket and in perfect batting conditions, White cashed in early with an unbeaten 111 as the home side set-up what looked a winning score of 3-253 from its 50 overs. He got plenty of support from Simon Ogilvie (44) and Manjula De Zoysa (43).
But it was Jenkins who had other ideas. Getting on with things early, he kept the run rate in check, but he needed someone to hand around with him, and it was left to number four Matthew Sandford, who crafted a half-century in a 99-run stand that gave Ballarat-Redan a chance.
Skipper Chris Egan said the pitch was batters paradise, but at the halfway point, he admitted to a few nerves
"White's was an impressive ton," he said. "It was really tough to bowl on and we were missing our strike bowler.
"But to have Jenkins do what he did was amazing. He's a good player, a great leader, and the way he's stepped up has been great.
"Matt Sandford and Jenkins are best mates and I thought it was Sandford who upped to anti, the batted really well together.
"It's great for our confidence, we had a big pre-season and we thought we were travelling okay until the first game which knocked us around a bit, so it was great to bounce back."
Jenkins was also the stand-out against to Napoleons-Sebastopol with 65 in a lone hand in the shock opening round loss.
Speaking of Naps-Sebas, they weren't able to back up their form from two-weeks prior, as the batting wilted under a consistent line and length from East Ballarat.
East's Adam Eddy did the damage, ripping through the top order with 4-20 from his 10 overs. Only opener Daniel Scott with 57 showed enough resistance as Naps-Sebas was bundled out for 126.
Despite losing opener Oscar Pryor for a duck at the start of the innings, Harry Ganley (65no) and Harli Givvens (45), led East to a big eight-wicket win inside 40 overs.
Brown Hill needed to show a bit more pluck this week, and they did that, batting the full 50 overs despite going down to Mount Clear. Mount Clear set up the game with a 114-run opening partnership between Matt Goonan (57) and Isaac Hucker (54), eventually amassing 8-239 from its 50 overs.
In reply, Brown Hill was always behind the run rate after Lachlan Payne picked up the first of his three wickets with the score on just four. While Brown Hill showed a lot more fight, to eventually be bowled out on the final ball for 143, a 96-run gap was a fair result.
Buninyong would have fancied its chances when they picked up Wendouree openers Sam Miller and Cole Roscholler early, but reality hit hard as the Wendouree middle-order picked up the pieces to see their team reach 9-228.
In reply, Buninyong never recovered from losing two quick wickets to Tom Batters, eventually dismissed for 163.
A consistent Darley never really looked in trouble against North Ballarat. It reached 8-239 from its 50 overs, dismissing North for 166, despite a rear guard effort from Vikrant Dabra who made 59 in the chase.
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