CRICKET: One round remains of the Gympie A-Grade Cricket One-Day series as Valleys sit atop the table.
In the pick of the day's action, Wests faced Harlequins in an epic battle for third place at Albert Park, with the game ending in a tight-scoring tie on a meagre 113 runs.
Harlequins batted first and Wests claimed four batsmen for ducks, with Max Cartwright the pick of the batters with just 24.
Wests' Andre Cave grabbed a handy 3/20 off eight overs, and Brad Morgan performed arguably one of the most important single overs in Gympie cricket history, with 2/7 off just five balls.
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Nick Bembrick's 2/9 off four overs also highlighted the bowling nature of the Albert Park pitch.
In reply, Wests were stunned by the Harlequins bowling attack. Shane Zahner ended on 3/19 and Mackenzie Reen with 4/14.
Wests batsman Brad Morgan top-scored with
14 as Harlequins turned
the game into an improbable tie.
"For Wests' innings it really was a case of all batsmen making a start, with a bit of ill-disciplined bowling from Harlequins keeping wests in the match,” Morgan said.
"With Wests losing steady wickets throughout the innings it came down to Wests stalward Scott McIntosh and perennial number 11 Jacob Friske to share a partnership of 25 runs to steal the game back.
"Unfortunately with a lot of hard work done by both batsmen, with scores tied, young leg spinner Jackson White snuck through Jacob's defence to end the match with scores level.
"With our first match against harlequins resulting in a one-run win to Wests and the second now a tie, it's been a great couple of contests between the competition's two youngest average-aged sides.”
Wests now sit in third position behind Valleys and Murgon.
Pace-setters Valleys sit on top of the ladder after a convincing six-wicket win over Colts at One Mile Oval on Saturday.
Colts went into bat first on a blisteringly hot Saturday, and Valleys' Rod Venn grabbed two key wickets in his first over, including Gympie Gold XI captain Lewis Waugh leg before wicket.
Valleys' Tyson Hillcoat said Venn's medium-pace spell with the ball proved vital to knocking Colts over for 173 after just 35 overs.
"That was the turning point for us,” Hillcoat said.
"They looked like getting 220 plus, but we restricted them well.”
Hillcoat, who also plays for the Gold XI side which represents Gympie in the Sunshine Coast compet- ition, was thrilled with Waugh scalp for 60.
"Rod said in the middle that he (Waugh) was too nice of a bloke to give any sort of send-off,” he joked.
"He's a quality batsman and could easily have gone on to make three figures.”
Venn finished on the tidy figures of 3/10 off four overs.
Valleys innings proved why they sit on top of the one-day ladder, reaching the winning total with six wickets in hand after 38 overs.
Valleys got off to a rocky start however, with both opening batsmen, Greg Brady and James Loose, bowled for one and two runs respectively.
Mason McGlone came to the crease at number four and his 82 not out led Valleys to victory
In the remaining A-Grade game it was a battle for the South Burnett, where Kingaroy faced Murgon at Lyle Vidler Oval, Kingaroy.
The toss was won by Kingaroy who elected to bowl, which proved the wrong decision as Murgon went on to win by 92 runs.
Murgon started well, with stalwart Jason Webber reaching 100 before he retired hurt. Lehman Brunjes chimed in with 30, and Gympie Gold XI batsman Ashley Sippel with 23 got Murgon to 8/212 off 40 overs.
Kingaroy bowler Leyton Brown claimed his sides best bowling figures with 2/15 off four, helped by Matt Patroni with 2/21 off four overs.
Kingaroy attempted its chase but inevitably fell short, all out for 120 after 36 overs, with Kieran Askin doing his best with 50 runs.
Bryce Edwards was devastating for Murgon, with 3/22 off seven overs, backed up by Jason Williams's 2/23 off five.
The Murgon Crusaders' win crowns them the best in the South Burnett, but second best in the Gympie competition with one round remaining before the finals on January 21.