McDonald's 5 wicket haul puts Melbourne on top

 Brenton McDonald’s 5-67 proved the key as Ringwood were bowled out for a competitive 234, David King continuing his amazing season with a top-score of 56.

Michael Hill (25no) and Matthew Begbie (10no) will return tomorrow looking to eat down the 185 runs they need to pass the Rams’ total with nine wickets in the shed.

Having to win the match to take the flag, the Rams won the toss and decided to bat on another superb Junction Oval pitch.

Disaster hit early for Ben Osborne’s side when opener Nathan Walsh was hit flush on the thumb by a nasty Chris Thompson bouncer.

The opener faced one more ball after the restart before retiring hurt. He was taken to hospital with a suspected compound fracture but incredibly returned later with his right hand in a cast to bat one handed at number 11.

Walsh’s unfortunate departure earlier in the day brought Tom Stray to the crease.da_king_drives_final_web

Stray and King were instrumental in guiding their side home in last weekend’s semi-final, but history wasn't to repeat itself.

Stray was brilliantly caught at short leg by Matthew Begbie off the bowling of Patrick Smith for 12.

New batsman Ian Holland settled quickly and looked solid at number four, with King hitting his stride at the other end.

The pair added 86 for the third wicket before leggie McDonald snared his first wicket of the afternoon, the prize scalp of King lbw for 56.

With his IPL-bound brother Andrew watching on from the sidelines he pocketed his second when Rams keeper Joe Loorham was caught at slip for a globe to leave the batting side teetering at 3-103.

Rams skipper Ben Osborne looked positive when he strode out taking particular fancy to McDonald just before lunch as they ended the first session on 3-135.

After the break Osborne and Holland continued to build their partnership.

But that was finally broken thanks to a magnificent piece of fielding by Kent. Osborne called for a quick single after dropping the ball on the offside.

But his opposition skipper was quick to sense the danger, swooping in from mid-wicket to pick up and throw down the stumps with Holland just short of his ground for 32.

Osborne was next to go scratching one behind off Thompson for 40.

Brendan Walsh dug deep to grind out 16 before he was also trapped leg before off McDonald to leave The Rams in a spot of bother. Daniel King was next to go for 13 snaffled by Begbie at short leg again off McDonald.

The tail, however, wagged with Blair Allan hitting an invaluable 34 and Ashton fighting hard for his ten not out. Walsh was the final man out missing a McDonald quicker ball to set a target of 234.

Melbourne were left with a tricky ten over spell before stumps.bg_mcdonald_final_d_web

Ben Way got them off to a flyer blazing a few through the covers. But he was soon on his way back to the pavilion when Topp squeezed one through his defence and trapped him lbw for ten.
There was still time for more drama when Michael Hill was dropped at square leg by Dan King off Topp who just couldn’t cling on to a blinder.

The Bushrangers' star seized on this to finish not out overnight and put The Demons on the front foot going into day two.

In other grade grand finals:

2nds final at Camberwell.  Prahran all out 209 (Townsend 75, Bricker 61, Dwyer 6/74) v Camberwell Magpies.

3rds final at Albert Ground. Melbourne 9/211 (Larter 63*, Pukovski 38) v St Kilda

4ths final at Geelong.  Camberwell Magpies 164 (Jayasinghe 52, Ditchburn 6/42) v Melbourne Uni 3/155 (Sivakumaran 98*, Fernando 3/42)




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