PENOLA soared to a convincing victory over Mil Lel in round nine of Barber Shield cricket on Saturday.
Originally scheduled as a two-day round, Mother Nature had her say last week and as a result the games were shortened to 40 overs.
Mil Lel made the trip to McCorquindale Park desperate for a third win, which would keep it in the hunt for a finals berth.
But the Eagles had other ideas and Mil Lel will rue the decision to send the home team in to bat after it won the toss.
Penola wasted no time making its mark, with an 83-run partnership between openers Jase Bateman and Jack Mullan.
After a slow start the pair settled at the crease and did not look back.
A six to Bateman in the seventh over tipped the partnership past the 50-run mark and left Mil Lel in desperate need of a wicket.
That did not come until the 12th over, when Jonathan Allcock dismissed Mullan for 37.
Bateman’s wicket fell shortly after – also to Allcock for 37 – which left Lewis March and Mark Smith at the crease.
Their partnership also dealt some damage and when March finally fell for 18 off Tom Nieuwerkerk, the total had reached 142.
In the end that score would have been more than enough to secure the honours, but the Eagles spread their wings further when George Kidman padded up.
He and Smith baffled the Mil Lel bowling attack and compiled an 87-run partnership before the latter was caught off Ben Thiel in the last over for a game-high 72 runs off 70 balls.
Curt Evans then took to the crease, but did not face a ball, while Kidman managed three runs off the final three balls to bring the score to 4/232.
The cost of fielding errors weighed heavily on the visitors, while Allcock was the most efficient with the ball with figures of 2/29.
With a daunting task ahead of the guests, Mil Lel started well with a four to Jarryd Burston off the first ball.
However, it did not take long for cracks to form and under the pressure of the Eagles’ bowling attack and Burston left Allcock at the crease with the total at 26 when he was clean bowled by Daniel McNicol for 11.
From there Mil Lel had few answers and despite double-figure returns from Allcock (12), Carey Megaw (12), Craig Lock (12) and Darcy Williamson (15), were all out for 90, well short of the target.
The result puts an end to Mil Lel’s finals chances, while Penola sits in second – level on wins with ladder leader East Gambier.