Games went as expected to end Round 5 of Great Southern Cricket Association A Grade, with one exception.
Encounter Bay were defending 131 at home to Noarlunga, and with the Shoes 1/58 things were progressing as expected.
But the breakthrough of Jason Scarff and a collapse of 9 for 31 from there saw that total restricted to just 89.
Cam Lintern (5/34) produced his first five-wicket haul in nearly five years with great support from Dillon Burns (4/8) to get the win for the Bays. From there, things went to script. Port Elliot were unable to recover from losing two late wickets on Day 1, to be bowled out for 56. They amassed 2/88 in the second dig before everyone called it quits.
For Goolwa, the move to the beach has been great for Jayden Crees (6/26) who is closing in on twenty wickets already after just five rounds.
Mount Compass can be credited for a competitive total to defend, however so can the continuation of good form for McLaren Districts, who needed only 44 overs to pass 160 for the win.
The Bulls were unable to make further inroads from 1/33 thanks to a 98-run partnership from Stephen Nairn (57) and Luke Goodieson (75) who is transitioning very well in his first year of senior cricket.
Willunga knocked over the required eighty runs needed to get the win over Yankalilla, despite losing 4/8 at the end. The Tigers will rue losing 4/27 in their lower and middle order which thwarted their push for a score over 150. Four one day games take us to Christmas in the A Grade, and with Round 6 the start of these matches, a sizeable gap has opened up at the top, with Willunga two games clear.
Goolwa and McLaren Districts' recent dominant form has ensured they sit comfortably in 2nd and 3rd with a game's separation. A further game clear of the bottom half is Encounter Bay in 4th. Noarlunga and Yankalilla can still certainly compete to push back in to the four, however it will be tough going to do so.
The return of one day games begins on Saturday with Mount Compass traveling to Tigerland to take on Yankalilla, Port Elliot doing battle with the Bays on the turf, Noarlunga at home to McLaren Districts, and Goolwa to take on the reigning premiers at Willunga. These will be exciting games.