A MATT Kroehnert-inspired Tucabia-Copmanhurst Blue threw a spanner in the works of Brothers' Premier League cricket minor premiership aspirations at Ellem Oval on Saturday.
Brothers, chasing league leaders Harwood, need at least first innings points to take top spot, but have failed so far to live up to expectations against a 'relaxed' Tucabia Blue. They were 4/24 at stumps chasing Tucabia's 205-run total.
Tucabia began poorly in their first innings on Saturday, losing opener Nathan Dougherty for two. However, a 31-run partnership between Graeme Egan (18) and Bri Hourigan (22) regained some ground.
Kroehnert was the next man in and the number four batsmen began to display the other side to his big-hitting game.
Kroehnert hit 13 boundaries, but failed to clear the fence as Tucabia's innings began to build on the back of his skilful 97-run innings.
“Matt has been the backbone of our batting all year,” Tucabia captain Greg Mears said.
“He had control of their attack all day.”
Kroehnert's runs increasingly became the life-blood of Tucabia's innings as the club's middle and lower order batsmen continued to fall around him.
Matt Dougherty (10), Steve Whitton (12) and Josh Gorman (11) added vital runs to the club's total.
Brothers captain Brad Robertson applauded the effort put in by his bowlers, but lamented a crucial missed opportunity.
“We got off to a good start but we then let the game get away,” he said.
“We dropped (Kroehnert) on zero and paid the price.”
Brothers' run chase began poorly, with Adam Dewberrry dismissed before a run was scored. Cadyn Tasker and Ryan Lynch also failed to trouble the scorer, while opener Jarrad Lynch's promising innings came to a halt on 18, leaving Brothers reeling at 4/24 at the close of play.
“It will be a tough ask to get the points,” Robertson said.
“It will be like last week where we have to start from scratch and have to make some big scores.”