Fortress is on the Moon

By Fraser Walker-Pearce

MOON OVAL is becoming a fortress for the Rochester Cricket Club at the business end of the season.

Saturday’s demolition of Echuca South — winning by 133 runs — was one of the club’s best results of the season so far and leaves Rochy sitting third on the Goulburn Murray Cricket ladder.

Vib Yadav was the star for the home side with bat and ball. Firstly he scored 52 with the willow at number four and was Rochy’s top-scorer as he helped his side to a huge 7/193 off 37 overs.

Captain Tim Bubb got his side under way strongly with a 43, before Sean Williams (34) helped to keep the score ticking over.

Yadav then went on to dismantle the South attack, recording 2/12 off six overs.

He was assisted by strong performers with the ball in Myles Wade (4/11) and Dylan Cuttriss (3/12). Liam Ringin picked up the other wicket as South was bowled all out for just 60 runs.

Rochester skipper Tim Bubb said although South is a team they should be beating, he was pleased with the mindset of his players throughout.

‘‘Finals aren’t too far away and we need to be doing the things we want to, like that,’’ Bubb said.

‘‘We achieved most of the things we wanted to with the bat and then put pressure on with the ball too.

‘‘Vib plays a really high standard of cricket. He’s a really good all-rounder and we’re hoping on the run home he can put in a few big performances.

‘‘We have a couple of tough ones coming up as we play both Tongala and Kyabram Fire Brigade in the run home. It’s all about building momentum there,’’ he said.

Rochester is now one of three sides all on 84 points, competing for the title of minor premiers with four rounds remaining in the normal season.

Sitting atop the table is Kyabram Fire Brigade with a massive points percentage gap on second and third positions.

Tongala sits right behind Fire Brigade, and Rochester is just shy of Tonny.

The title is far from sewn up though — just six points behind the top three is Echuca on 78.

The coming rounds are crucial in the title race, as the top four sides play each other this weekend.

Rochester hosts second-placed Tongala at Moon Oval in the first of a two-dayer. If either side gains the maximum 18 points, it could well decide the fate of the season.

And just up the Northern Highway at Victoria Park, fourth-placed Echuca begins its two-day campaign to topple Fire Brigade.

In other matches, fifth-placed Bamawm Lockington United travel to wooden spoon Echuca South with the hopes of keeping their finals chances alive with an innings’ win.

And sixth-placed Moama host seventh-placed Cooma at Moama Recreation Reserve with the same hopes as BLUCC.