Lancefield produced a dream weekend as it moved closer to making the Gisborne and District Cricket Association’s McIntyre Cup competition for the first time.
The Tigers claimed first-innings points against Wallan in the B-grade grand final on day two of the three-day match and will enter the third day in the box seat for victory.
Tigers captain-coach Luke Barker said his side had done just about everything right on the first two days.
Electing to bat, the Tigers didn’t get off to the best start and looked like they were in for a struggle at 4-71.
Not for the first time this season, the Tigers batsmen didn’t give up without a fight and pushed the score to 217 by batting into the second morning of the match.
“Our plan was to bat all day on Saturday and then bat as long as possible today,” Barker said following day two. “We batted for 13 overs on day two. It would have been nice to have been able to bat for another 20 minutes though. Ryan Millar and Lyndon Thompson were very good for us
“Without Ryan, we wouldn’t have made over 200. If you make 200 in a grand final, it always give you a good target to bowl to.”
Glenn Warner top-scored for the Tigers with 60.
Luke Malone chipped in with 39, Millar made 30 and Thompson 16.
With Wallan having made more than 260 on at least six occasions this season, the Tigers needed at least one of its bowlers to fire.
Enter Matthew Bowden. Bowden was the hero for the Tigers when they won the C-grade grand final two seasons ago.
The Tigers had the Magpies in trouble at 7-81, with Bowden taking six of those wickets, including five bowled.
“With our bowling, if Matt’s on song we seem to go well,” Barker said. “He just bowls at the stumps, nothing fancy. He’s an exceptional bowler and when he’s got his tail up, he’s hard to stop.”
Some good fielding late restricted the Magpies to 125, leaving them 92 runs behind on the first innings.
Bowden, who topped the B-grade bowling average, finished with 7-44 off 14 overs.
With about a day and half’s play remaining the Tigers were sent back in, with Wallan keen for quick wickets to set up a reverse outright result.
The Tigers were 2-106 at stumps with a lead of nearly 200.
“We can’t just go out and defend.
“Chris Collins made 38, and was really positive, while we’ve had a 41 not out from Luke Malone.
“We need to bat for as long as possible next week. They have some quality bowlers.
“Hopefully, we bat like we did on Sunday.”