Not even a century from Brodie Bennett could help steer the Deni Rhinos to victory on Saturday.
Bennett brought up his first ton for the club in his side’s 60 run first innings loss to Katamatite in their Murray Valley Cricket Association round 13 clash.
The right-hand bat was the only highlight for the home side at Memorial Park, putting away 14 fours and three sixes on his way to 102 runs.
‘‘While it was great to get my first century for the club, it was disappointing that we couldn’t get the win,’’ he said.
‘‘I’d rather win the game, but you take a century when you get one.
‘‘The last time I made a ton was for Tyabb in 2015, but it’s been a long time coming to get one for the Rhinos.
‘‘I scored a few centuries during the DDCA (Deniliquin District Cricket Association) days but never at Murray Valley level.
‘‘It was a good feeling for me personally to crack the ton. At the age of 34 I have had moments where I doubted that I was up to the standard of Premier cricket.
‘‘The last month of cricket has been good for me and my confidence in my ability was a big factor in getting to triple figures on Saturday.
‘‘This century has given me the reassurance that I can compete at the top level and hopefully I can continue the form into finals.’’
Chasing a total of 255, the Rhinos started day two at 1/15, with opening batsman Dean Edge dismissed on day one.
The day got off to a horror start for Deni, with Mandus Venter (nine) caught off the bowling of Ben Beaton (1/24 off eight) to have the Rhinos 2/28.
This brought Bennett to the crease and along with Boddie Arthur (22) the pair added 29 runs before the latter was caught off James Tierney (2/33 off 14).
Mick Barnett came out to the middle, playing a supporting role as Bennett smashed plenty of runs in a 45 run partnership.
Barnett’s (six) front row seat to the Bennett show was ended when Sam Dorsey (3/65 off 19.1) sent his bails flying.
Veteran bat Ash Germano (eight) entered the fray and, much like Barnett, gave Bennett the majority of the strike as the pair piled on another 50 runs.
The Rhinos looked well on their way to chase down the total before Brad Parnell (2/26 off seven) struck, first removing Germano.
Just seven runs later Deni’s run chase was in shambles when Bennett was bowled by Parnell, with the Rhinos now 6/159.
With Andrew Hogan ruled out due to niggling injuries, the Rhinos were left undermanned and with only three wickets in hand it was a tough task.
The remaining batsmen managed to 36 runs between them with Liam Pitts (14), Ben Irwin (six) and Jack Tonta (13) all removed.
Evan Pocock (three not out) was the last man standing for the Rhinos as they finished all out on 195 after 59.1 overs.
Rhinos coach John Arthur said the score was simply too much for his side to chase down.
‘‘On any day 255 is a massive score to chase, especially when we were down a batsman without Hoges (Hogan),’’ he said.
‘‘To get within 60 runs with one less batter, particularly one of the premier batsmen of the comp, as well as missing Brad Todd and having Edgey (Edge) out cheaply on day one is still a pretty good effort.
‘‘We honestly thought that while Brodie (Bennett) was in we were within a chance of winning.
‘‘He batted sensationally and watching him bat was like watching a highlight reel.
‘‘We just didn’t have the wickets in the shed in the end though.’’
Following the first innings, Katamatite finished 4/134 off their 26 overs.
Bennett was the only multiple wicket taker, taking 2/30 off his four overs.
The Rhinos will look to bounce back this weekend as they prepare for day one of their two day clash against Barooga.
Deni will travel to Barooga for the game this Saturday.
Both Deni’s Division One and Division Two sides did not play on the weekend.
Division One’s clash against Berrigan was declared a washout, with both teams sharing the points.
The Rhinos will host Barooga at Memorial Park for their first game since January 18 this Saturday.
Division Two were forced to forfeit their game against Katamatite due to a lack of numbers.
The Rhinos will now play their final game of the home and away season when they face second-placed Cobram this Saturday.