By Jackson Russell
A century from teenager Riley Mason has guided Broadford to a narrow four-run away win over reigning Seymour District Cricket Association premier Tallarook.
After winning the toss and batting, Mason and Broadford captain Ash Wood got their side off to a strong start with a 70-run opening partnership, which ended when Wood was bowled by paceman Leigh Irving for 31.
After losing his captain, Mason got a wriggle on and kept the scoreboard ticking over almost single-handedly as Greg Todd and Jake Martin were both dismissed cheaply by Mitch Itter to have Broadford 3/108.
Mason and Mitchell Collier put on 45 runs together for the fourth wicket before Collier was stumped by wicketkeeper Cameron Muir off Kalon Winnell for 24.
Mason continued to carry the bulk of the load for Broadford, with a 30-run partnership with brother Cooper Mason ending when Cooper was run out for five.
Riley fell shortly after for 102 ,with Broadford at 6/194 before the visitors’ innings ended after 45 overs at 7/198.
For Tallarook, Itter took 2/19 from nine overs with two maidens and Irving took 2/30 from nine overs with one maiden.
Broadford was able to carry its momentum through the innings break and onto the field, with Jack Connell dismissing both openers, bowling Itter for a golden duck and dismissing Ben Cooney leg before wicket for 14 to have the hosts 2/16.
Coming in at first drop, captain Lachlan Watts was able to get his side back on course with a measured innings of 73 from 122 in more than two and a half hours in the middle.
Wickets were falling consistently around him as Tallarook was unable to maintain a large partnership until Blair Hobba entered at 5/67. The pair put on 71 together before Hobba was caught behind by Broadford captain Ash Wood off Jake Martin for 36 at 6/138.
Watts continued to try to lift his team to victory until he departed at 8/181.
Ben Radford (13*) tried to get Tallarook there, but ran out of time as the hosts fell agonisingly short at 9/194 from their 45 overs.
Former New Zealand junior international and first-class player Greg Todd led Broadford’s attack, taking 4/36 from nine overs with two maidens.
Wood said it was an ‘awesome game’ to be involved in.
“Both sides played really well, and we were fortunate to end up on the right side of the result,” he said.
“Riley’s performance was fantastic. He’s been in pretty good touch, so it was good to see him put on a pretty big score, it was great to watch.
“He’s always had the talent. He’s just got to believe in himself and do the hard work to get through the tough periods, and he really cashed in on Saturday.”
Wood said Todd provided more to the side than what can be seen on the scorecard.
“Greg was fantastic, not only his bowling, but his guidance to other bowlers and players has been a huge benefit to our side,” he said.
“He has different ideas and points of view during the game so it’s nice to have someone to bounce my ideas off and learn from his experiences.”
At the Christmas break, Broadford remains third on the ladder a game behind undefeated Kilmore and only percentage behind Yea while Tallarook are fourth, two games back from Broadford.