Eagles top table as semi-finals approach

ALBION Park Eagles have moved into top spot on the South Coast Cricket Association ladder after a rain-interrupted 12th round of the competition on Saturday, scoring a three-wicket win over Warilla Kookas.

The Eagles' victory enabled them to leapfrog Lake Illawarra, who drew with Shellharbour and the Kookas, with two rounds remaining before the semi-finals.

The result came after a tense afternoon as rain clouds hung overhead.

Resuming at 2-15 chasing 137 to win, the Eagles lost an early wicket to be 3-21, but Jordan Villa (27) and Jay Ferguson (28) began a recovery.

The entry of Graeme Smith to the crease picked up the Eagles' charge, the veteran remaining unbeaten on 60 as his side were victorious by three wickets.

Rookie Troy Tungai took 3-41 in his first grade debut, while Scott Cox also returned 3-41 to lead the Kookas' attack.

There were thrills aplenty at Cavalier Park, where the home side snared victory by one wicket against Gerringong-Jamberoo.

Chasing the Jet-Bulls 119, Kiama resumed at 4-71.

However, good bowling from Jesse O'Hare (3-21) and Matt Ott (2-11) soon had the Cavs struggling and when the ninth wicket fell at 105, it looked like the visitors may have done enough.

But Ben Czulowski (16 not out) and Ethan McIntosh (three not out) managed to hang around long enough, and with rain starting to fall scrambled home with just one wicket in hand, despite some close calls.

Rain played a major role in the other two games, Lake Illawarra closing in on a win over Shellharbour before the heavens opened.

Chasing the Lakers' first innings of 400, the Scorpions were 2-11 early, before Alex Brown (28) and Pat Moulton started to rebuild the innings.

Ultimately it was Todd Cordes (40 not out) and Ken Nguyen (36 not out) who safely guided their side to a draw at 5-152.

Kerrod White backed up last week's 196 with 2-37, while Mark Ulcigrai also claimed a double.

There was no play in the Oak Flats/The Rail match, the Rats having to settle for first innings points.

Competition points with two rounds remaining are Albion Park 143, Lake 142, Kookas 130, Shellharbour 119, Oak Flats 117, Kiama 75, Gerringong-Jamberoo 61 and The Rail 57.

Next week's penultimate round will feature Shellharbour at home to Kiama, Gerringong-Jamberoo will play Warilla at Kevin Walsh Oval, Lake Illawarra host The Rail, while the match of the round has Oak Flats at home to Albion Park in the Rats' annual Pink Stumps Day.

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