NEWBOROUGH Bulldogs caused the biggest upset of the Energy Australia Yallourn Cup season when they toppled potential finalist Mirboo North by nine runs.
The Tigers have dropped to last on the ladder opening up the fight for a finals berth while the Bulldogs went from bottom to fifth.
Matt Hibbs (43) and Aiden Vesty (45) got their team off to a flier with a 57 run opening partnership before Hibbs was bowled by Damian Turner.
Matt’s brother Steve managed a handy 22 and Lachlan Hardy was 18* as the side reached 8-164 after 45 overs.
Liam Smit was the best of the Mirboo North bowlers taking 4/23 while Turner chipped in with 2/32 off nine. Shane Peters (15) and Jimmy Grande (38) gave the Tigers a good start with an opening stand of 41 before Robert Blunt took three quick wickets to have Mirboo North in trouble.
At 5/76 the Tigers started to settle down with Chris Anders (19) and Josh Taylor (23) taking the score to 120 before Nathan Simpson and Steve Hibbs took 4/5.
Turner (21) and Smit (8) kept the scoreboard ticking over with a 30 run partnership but with two overs to play Smit was trapped in front by Simpson to give the Bulldogs a morale boosting win.
Latrobe and Morwell won their way into the one day final on Sunday 16 December with good wins over Yallourn North and Trafalgar.
Yallourn North traditionally give the Sharks a good run for their money and this game was no exception.
Latrobe batted first and lost Daniel Siddle, Rob McKinley and Kaushik Aphale to Glen Sheekey with only 50 runs on the board.
Anthony Bloomfield hit form at the right time with a well compiled 47, and with help from Justin Vajler (23) and Pat Farrant (29), took the score to 152.
Jeremy Butler (4/24) took care of the lower order while Sheekey finished with 4/25 from 10.
Sheekey opened the batting and with Josh Keyhoe (39) added 41 for the opening wicket before Daniel Farrant claimed Sheekey and Luke Nelson’s wickets in quick succession.
Some tight bowling by Aphale had the Bombers behind the clock and it did not get any better for the home side with two run outs.
Evan Sheekey was run out by Aphale and Shane Galea was run out by a direct hit from the boundary by Jamie Brierley.
Latrobe could not get the last two wickets as the Bombers batted out their overs.
Morwell had an easier task against Trafalgar with a 70 run win.
Struggling at 3/32, Craig Giddens attacked the bowling for a quick 26 while Mark Cukier (45), Brendan Brincat (49) and Jesse Giardina (24*) lifted the score to a healthy 190.
Tim Dowe (4/32) and Brent Reside (4/20) were the wreckers for Morwell as Trafalgar struggled to be all out for 120.
LEADING second grade contenders Rawson and St Vincents were separated by seven runs in a close contest.
Sam Shanmoghan (47) and Justin Blair (41) batted well for the Saints while Nathan Lee made 42 in Rawson’s score of 153.
Peter Grima with 63 guided Moe to a 23 run win over Mirboo North while Nick Clarke took 4/22.
Latrobe’s Anthony de Leonardis made 37 in the side’s win over Yallourn North with 26 of his runs coming off one Gary Chalmers over.
The Sharks made 169 with Ricky Martin four wickets, Elliot De Carli three and Chalmers two sharing the spoils.
A hat-trick by Jeeralang Boolarra’s Craig Blackberry (5/20) helped his side to a good win over Hazelwood North. Blackberry had taken two wickets earlier in the innings and clean bowled his last three victims.
Stan Urbanic Junior started the rot for the Razorbacks taking the first three wickets to fall while Glen Nijenhuis top scored for the Panthers with 40.
Veteran Latrobe all-rounder Steve Grover hit an unbeaten 104 against St Vincents in a high scoring third grade match.
In reply to the Saints’ 173 the Sharks made 8-284.
Steve Bickerton’s 62 was enough for Mirboo North to get the points against Jeeralang Boolarra Panthers.
Willow Grove got their first win of the season against Thorpdale with Brad Grima making an unbeaten 53.
Hazelwood North’s Chris Harmer fell seven runs short of a century but the Razorbacks were too good for Morwell by 56 runs.