Tallarook bowler Leigh Irving delivers to Kilmore skipper Josh Buttler, who cuts the ball away.

KILMORE’S chances of a top-two finish in the Seymour District Cricket Association A Grade competition are alive after a big win and a surprise Broadford loss on Saturday.

The Blues got a confidence-boosting victory against Tallarook, batting out their full 45 overs after winning the toss and then restricting the home side well enough in a hard-fought 17-run victory.

Kilmore had solid starts from opening batsmen Dale Tassone and Kevin Craddock, who each reached 21 before being dismissed.

While Marcus Davern, caught off the bowling of Ben Tarran for a duck, was the only Kilmore batsman not to reach double figures, few Kilmore batsmen were able to stick around at the crease.

It was only when captain Josh Buttler, batting at number six, and Robert Hanson reached the crease that a solid partnership formed.

Buttler batted patiently in an innings of 40 not out, while at the other end Hanson blasted boundaries in an innings of 52.

Hanson was caught on the boundary in the final over, but the visitors felt good about their total of 7/183 when walking off the field.

Ben Tarran and his uncle Jason were the best of the Tallarook attack, with Jason claiming 3/18 from eight overs, while Ben picked up 2/39 from seven. Leigh Irving was economical with 1/16 from seven overs, including two maidens.

Tallarook’s run chase was off to a promising start, with openers Ben Tarran and Kalon Winnell reaching 20 without loss before Winnell was run out.

Winnell’s departure brought Rookers skipper Lachie Watts to the crease, setting up a battle between him and the Kilmore bowlers.

Watts turned in one of his finest performances of the season, batting through the afternoon in an innings of 94 not out, but partners kept falling around him.

After Tarran’s dismissal for 29, no other Tallarook player reached double figures.

With spinner Jayme Lowe and Brett Buttler refusing to surrender easy runs, the required run-rate kept rising for Tallarook.

Tallarook finished their 45 overs seven down, but could only muster a total of 166 runs despite Watts’ best efforts.

Lowe, 2/29, Josh Buttler, 2/52, Brett Buttler, 1/13, and Hanson, 1/29, led the Kilmore attack.

Broadford retained its place in the top two but now sits only one win in front of Kilmore after a surprise loss to reigning premier Yea Tigers, who looked to be finding some belated form in their nail-biting one-wicket victory at Yea.

Broadford elected to bat after winning the toss but struggled to score, with only Ash Wood, 19, and Evan Mills, 18 not out, reaching double figures.

Broadford was all out for 88 inside the 35th over, but nearly pulled off a win thanks to a sharp display of bowling.

Jeremy Bradshaw, 3/17, Jack Connell, 3/31, and James Jones, 2/16, nearly did enough to bowl the Tigers out short of the target.

Yea’s Andrew Chisholm fell to Connell with the home side still four runs short of victory, but Yea’s Austen Ross and Andrew Butterworth survived long enough to hit the winning runs.

With Eastern Hill defeating Seymour in the final match of the round, a minor premiership now looks unlikely for Broadford.

In round 13 Kilmore will be tested in a road game against Eastern Hill, Tallarook will be at home to host the reinvigorated Tigers, and Broadford will welcome Seymour as it attempts to get back on track.