Wide Bay beaten
THEN there were three.
Metropolitan teams East and North and North Queensland raiders Peninsula remain as the only unbeaten teams after day three of the Queensland School Sport 14 years and under Championships in Bundaberg yesterday.
Wide Bay had also won their first two games, but they were outplayed by Met East, going down by 28 runs.
Met North however powered on with a 133-run demolition of one of their city cousins, Metropolitan West, while Peninsula were big winners over their closest rivals geographically, Northern, running out 116-run victors.
Wide Bay did well to have Met East struggling at 7-105 in the 32nd over after leg spinner Simon Fairbairn (3-28) and Bundaberg left-arm seamer Pat Turner (3-38) cut a swathe through their middle-order.
But No. 8 Ben Cole (31) and No. 9 Ricky Burnton, who finished unbeaten on 44, led a late fightback, taking the score to 8-196 in their last 18 overs.
In reply, nine Wide Bay batsmen made starts but none were able to go on with the job and they were ultimately dismissed for 168 in the 50th over with No. 7 Matt Cornelius remaining unconquered on 39.
For Met East, opener Bailey Bennett claimed the first wicket before finishing with 3-24, while Brandon James, Tom Rolls and Michael Gianarakis each snared two scalps.
Wide Bay coach Simon Gills conceded they "were simply beaten by a better team on the day" but he still rates Met North as the team to beat.
"They toughed it out with the bat then bowled very well," Gills said.
"But Met North are still way out there in front of everyone else."
It will be a virtual semi-final when Met North and Met East lock horns in what is certain to be an epic last-round duel at Kendall's Flat today with the winner to advance to tomorrow's final and the loser likely to be relegated to the play-off for third.
Met North were again ruthless in disposing of Met West yesterday.
But after bowling them out for a paltry 106, they lost in-form Patrick Dooley for a second ball duck, then fellow opener Jack Beath, a centurion the previous day, for nine, both falling leg-before-wicket to Hayden Webber.
However it was just an aberration as day one century maker Justin Francis (34) and Oliver West (35) got them back on track before Nyoah Rosmarin, who did not play in their first two games, stepped up to the plate with 75.
With No. 9 Pat Farrell adding an unbeaten 44, they amassed their third total in excess of 200 in as many matches, finishing at 9-239.
Earlier, lively paceman Jordan Gentile continued his fine form with 4-12.
It was also business as usual for Peninsula, bowling Northern out for 96 with Andrew Phelps mopping up the tail with 3-3, then racking up 8-212 with Zygi Holmes leading the charge with 57.
Meanwhile, Sunshine Coast, who were thrashed by Met North first-up, made it back-to-back wins, beating Capricornia by 11 with Jackson Turner notching his second straight four-wicket haul and Cody Hooper the batting hero with 58.
South Coast broke their duck with a big victory over Darling Downs with Tim Richardson hitting out late for an unbeaten 68 in a best of round 8-248 and Ishvar Nedunchezhian cutting loose with 4-18.
Sunshine Coast 168 (Cody Hooper 58, Damien Volker 7.1-0-32-3, Tom Bugeja 10-2-37-3, Callum Henderson 8-3-15-2, Steven McGiffin 7-2-24-2) d Capricornia 147 (Steven McGiffin 23, Jackson Turner 9-2-30-4, Rhys Parker 10-3-16-3).
South Coast 8-248 (Tim Richardson 68no, Liam Smith 49, Luke Elliott 45no, Jake Alker 36) & 0-22 d Darling Downs 133 (Zac Beveridge 33, Nick Gabbett 32, Ishvar Nedunchezhian 10-2-18-4, Sam Bristow 10-2-19-2, Riley Glover 6-1-24-2).
Peninsula 8-212 (Zygi Holmes 57, Jake Spannagle 41, Glen Ives 37, Grant Russ 10-2-25-3, Braden Fabbro 10-0-42-2, Jack Raffles 7-0-50-2) d Northern 96 (Jacob Matthews 26no, Andrew Phelps 4.3-3-3-3, Ben Shrimpton 5-1-14-2, Stan Gaudion 8-1-27-2) & 0-49 (Jacob Matthews 38no).
Met East 8-196 (Ricky Burnton 44no, Ben Cole 31, Simon Fairbairn 10-2-28-3, Pat Turner 10-2-38-3) d Wide Bay 168 (Matt Cornelius 39no, Bailey Bennett 8-0-24-3, Brandon James 6.2-2-6-2, Tom Rolls 7-2-28-2, Michael Gianarakis 5-0-32-2).
Met North 9-239 (Nyoah Rosmarin 75, Pat Farrell 44no, Oliver West 35, Justin Francis 34, Luke Bartholomew 8-2-20-2, Harry Wilton 7-0-29-2, Hayden Webber 7-1-40-2) d Met West 106 James Grady 28no, Jordan Gentile 6-3-12-4, Oliver Ritchie 3-1-2-2, Fergus Halliday 8-2-20-2) & 2-34 (Halliday 4-0-13-1, Patrick Dooley 5-2-14-1).