THE Donnybrook Cricket Club has defeated third-placed Leschenault by two wickets to set up what will be an epic battle against Capel this weekend to see who will claim fourth spot on the ladder.
It started with Leschenault winning the toss and electing to bat first on the synthetic wicket.
Although wickets were hard to get early the Dons didn't let the run rate get beyond their reach and it was the returning Joel Parker who claimed the first wicket after an 85-run opening partnership from the host.
Due to the Dons missing three of their strike bowlers, youngster Dion Parker was called upon and worked well with veteran Norm Bedford to control the middle overs with four wickets between them.
Some late hitting though saw Leschenault rally their way to a first innings total of 195 from their 50 overs.
After the break, openers Phil Welsh and James Harcourt again started well before Harcourt (18) was run out, bringing their 45-run partnership to an end.
Dion Parker (4) and Bedford (4) lost their wickets cheaply and when Welsh was caught for 33 the visitors were in trouble at 4-70.
That left Joel Parker and Wayne Clifford at the crease who combined for a 74-run stand before Parker (18) was caught behind. Clifford continued to do the bulk of the scoring and batted beautifully to bring up his first half century of the season.
The game was yet to take another turn though, with Clifford (61) hitting out and Robert Cross (12) being bowled, which left the Dons hanging eight wickets down with 26 runs needed for victory.
After being gifted a couple of missed chances Brad Swarbrick (17 not out) and Will Stevenson (8 not out) were able to hold their nerve and get the job done in the 48th over .
The win means Donnybrook will have to convincingly beat Capel in Capel this Saturday by enough to earn themselves a bonus point and scrape into this year’s final series.
Unfortunately in the D-grade Donnybrook suffered a 26-run loss to Leschenault . The Dons were set a target of 205 after the Skippings brothers impressed with the ball. Andrew with 2-24 and Troy 1-18.
The run chase was led by Scott Tynan who blasted his way to 55 and Mark Manea (30) was again in the runs. But the home side was bowled out in the 38th over to fall just short of the target.
It's a simple equation this week for the D-grade, if they beat Colts this Saturday at home they will finish fourth and will be playing finals the following week.