Bacchus Marsh and Romsey were the big winners, Diggers Rest Bulla and Rupertswood were the main losers, and Sunbury was the lucky team in the final round of the Gisborne and District Cricket Association’s McIntyre Cup.
With six sides still in the mix for a top-four finish and finals spots, Saturday was always going to be a matter of winners and losers.
Bacchus Marsh, which started the round in fifth position, secured a home semi-final with an outright victory against Rupertswood.
The Bulls had already taken first innings points on day one and didn’t let up on Saturday.
They piled on the runs early before declaring at 5-301. Peter Lalor finished with an unbeaten 155.
Rupo needed to bat out the day to avoid an outright defeat, but despite a positive start was all out for 132. Karl Sutherland top-scored with 33.
Three players took three wickets each for the Bulls.
The win moved the Bulls into second spot on the ladder above Gisborne, Sunbury and Diggers Rest Bulla.
The Bulls will host Gisborne in the semi-finals.
The Dragons will enter the finals on the back of a big win against Sunbury.
Having made 7-306 on day one, the Dragons restricted Sunbury to 168. Jason Wilson took 3-9. Craig Ballinger almost played a lone hand for Sunbury, scoring an unbeaten 91.
The Dragons made 3-55 in their second innings.
The last time the Bulls and Dragons met, the Bulls won by four runs.
Sunbury, which was on top of the ladder for much of the season, had a nervous wait to find out if it will play finals. It needed bottom side Romsey to knock off Diggers Rest Bulla and ladder leaders Riddell to beat Woodend. Sunbury’s wishes came true.
Romsey’s 8-203 was enough to seal a win against the Burras, who could only manage 193. Taylor Stevenson was the pick of the bowlers, taking 5-59.
As well as ending the Burras’ finals hopes, the win ensured Romsey stays in McIntyre Cup next season by moving above Rupertswood on the ladder.
Rupertswood’s return to the top grade lasted just a season – its bottom finish means it will be relegated.
Riddell will enter the finals as favourite on the back of eight straight wins.
It scored another comprehensive win on Saturday, the Bombers ending Woodend’s finals hopes.
Defending 7-302, the Bombers bowled Woodend out for 207. Marcus Stewart top-scored with 48.
Matthew Livingstone took four wickets for the Bombers, with Jack Baker taking three.
The Bombers will face Sunbury in the other semi-final.