BROADFORD suffered its first setback of the Seymour District Cricket Association A Grade season on Saturday, losing to surprise competition leader Eastern Hill.
On its home turf at Harley Hammond Reserve, Broadford lost the toss and was forced to bowl by the visiting Eagles.
The home side got off to a dream start when Jack Connell had Eastern Hill opener Daniel O’Sullivan out for a duck on the second ball of the day.
But the visitors recovered brilliantly, with Brayden Speechley and Ben Bryant putting on a 66-run partnership for the second wicket.
Speechley was eventually run out for 24 by Broadford’s Mitch Collier, but the Eagles were able to build an innings of 154 around Bryant’s 84 runs.
Connell finished with team-best figures of 4/25 in 8.3, while Jeremy Bradshaw was economical in his nine overs, finishing 1/22 with four maidens.
With an attainable target on the board, Broadford found itself in immediate trouble when opener Gareth Sharp was bowled for a golden duck.
Fellow opener Connor Stute (7) did not hang around for much longer, and when Collier fell for only six runs, the home side was reeling at 3/15.
Cooper Mason provided some stability at number four, but took 75 deliveries to score his 21 runs, driving the required run rate up.
Broadford was eventually bowled out for 129 in the 43rd over, with Bradshaw’s 26 runs at number eight team high.
Kilmore let a chance to avenge last season’s grand final loss to Yea Tigers slip when the sides faced off at Kilmore Cricket Ground.
The home side’s attack did well to restrict the Tigers after the visitors elected to bat, producing wickets regularly.
Mitch Van De Duim broke through for three vital wickets, including that of danger man Cam Armstrong, while Brett Buttler bowled tightly to finish with 3/19 from nine overs.
Tiger Andrew Butterworth’s 46 in the middle of the innings was enough to guide the visitors to 9/136 after 45 overs, giving the Yea attack something to bowl at.
The Kilmore bats struggled in reply, with captain Josh Buttler falling for only one run to Andrew Chisholm.
Kilmore keeper Jacob Walton (38) and opener Robert Hanson (21) each compiled respectable totals, but Tiger Darcy Pell swept through the Blues’ middle order with 4/25 and the tail was unable to offer any support as the home side was bowled out for 118 in the 39th over.
Tallarook earned its first win of the season by downing bottom side Seymour, batting strongly in a performance sure to please skipper Lachie Watts.
Opener Cam Muir made 83 after the ‘Rook batted first at Chittick Park, setting up a dominant total of 3/223.
Watts (47) and Leigh Irving (47*) were also among the runs, while Kalon Winnell finished unbeaten alongside Irving on 29.
Tallarook then stifled Seymour with a strong display of bowling and fielding, surrendering only 146 runs before bowling the home side out with one over left.
Despite solid knocks from tailenders James Voogt (34), Nick Quigg (31) and Dallas Anderson (21*), the visitors always had the match solidly in hand.
Ben Tarran, 3/11, and Xavier Arandt, 3/19, were the best of an even Tallarook attack.
In the final round before the Christmas break, Tallarook will host Broadford, Kilmore will travel to challenge Seymour at Chittick Park and Yea Tigers are at home to Eastern Hill.