Bulldogs alive as three fight for one spot
A determined North County have kept their hopes of an unlikely finals berth alive after defeating Mt Barker in the penultimate round of the Albany Cricket Association A-grade competition on Saturday afternoon.
With Collingwood Park wasting their chance to stitch up fourth spot by losing to Manypeaks, the Bulldogs pounced as they produced an impressive run chase, spearheaded by veteran Craig Tonkin.
Set 181 to win by the Bulls at Turf North, Tonkin was terrific at the top of the order as he smacked eight boundaries in his fine knock of 66.
Tonkin and opening partner Aaron Williams put on 69 together and then Bulldogs skipper Neil Ferreira joined Tonkin as they put on 65 runs for the second wicket.
Fast bowler Jacob Wintle removed Tonkin on 66 in the 26th over, with his side needing 47 more runs for victory as a bonus point result looked likely.
Neil Ferreira and his son Matthew pushed the Bulldogs towards the target but Bulls captain Jeremy Wood brought about an edge from Neil on 29 and then Wintle crashed through Graeme Weinert and Jed Langslow in his final over to leave the Bulldogs 5-178.
Matthew Ferreira’s innings was full of merit as he guided the Bulldogs home with an unbeaten 27 as his side won with five wickets to spare.
The Bulldogs needed 40.4 overs to pass the total, narrowly missing a bonus point as a result, but the win still pushed them into fifth place on the standings.
The win keeps their finals hopes alive heading into the last round of the regular season, the Bulldogs now three points behind Park and two points ahead of Denmark.
The Bulldogs face ladder leaders Railways in the final round, while Park meet the Magpies.
A win to Park will ensure they secure fourth place but the Bulldogs and Magpies remain alive going into round 18.
Jacob Wintle finished with 3-33 from his 10 overs, while Wood returned 2-49, but they simply couldn’t restrict their opponents, who chased down victory for the second week in a row.
Earlier the Bulls appeared set themselves a strong platform for a decent total after Alex Fergie and Dean Couper put on 46 runs at the top.
Couper was the first wicket to fall on 17 but a 70-run partnership from Fergie and Wood steered the Bulls past 100.
Wood fell to Fabian Bolton on 26 and Fergie top scored with a patient 69.
Aidan Williss (19 not out) and Steven Scott (12) were also valuable contributors as they helped their side reach 7-180.
Tom Carrington snared 4-27 from six overs, while fellow spinner Paul Osborne was the other multiple wicket taker with 2-32 off nine overs.
The loss also had ramifications for the Bulls, ending their quest for a top-two finish and the vital double chance in this month’s finals series.
Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.
Sign up for our emails