TONGALA made it two wins in as many weeks, kick-starting its Goulburn Murray Cricket A grade season with a narrow win against the Rochester Tigers.
It had struggled in the opening fortnight of competition but is well in touch with the top four after narrow wins of 13 and 14 runs.
Tongala won the toss at Rochester’s Windridge Oval and batted, and had Darin Ohlsen to thank for a competitive total.
The opener made a composed 59 and by the time he fell had helped the side to 4/144 after Blake Campbell (10), Adam Nunn (16) and Jamie Garde (4) all missed a chance to get among the runs.
The side had been 3/54 but Jayden Tucker (40) dug in to give Ohlsen the support needed. Their 90-run partnership from a somewhat precarious position proving to be a match-winner.
Jordan Souter (28*) and Matt Ohlsen (12*) put on 43 important runs for the last wicket to push the total to 5/187.
Only Jake Wright took multiple wickets for Rochester, with the lack of breakthroughs — particularly in the middle of the innings — ruining any chance of piling pressure on the visitors.
The Tigers needed composure at the top of the order but regularly lost wickets to slump to 4/58, Ryley Cowley with two of the scalps.
But the experienced heads stepped up, Adam Ward (49) and captain Jake Wright (65) steering the side back into the game.
Ward was caught off the bowling of Nunn to make the score 5/146, and it sparked a brilliant fightback from the Tongala bowlers.
Matt Ohlsen trapped Wright in front for 6/169, the first of five wickets for five runs to see the Tigers fall 13 runs short.
Lucas Hughes picked up two of the late wickets to finish with 2/32, Nunn (2/26) and Cowley (2/29) also with multiple wickets in a balanced effort that saw every bowler grab a wicket.
After losses in the first two rounds to Moama and Rochester United, Tongala has improved in the last fortnight in all areas, but particularly with the bat.
It managed just 39 and 119 in the first two weeks but has responded — Darin Ohlsen leading the way with 53 and 59.
The bowlers have lifted too, bowling out their opponent two weeks in a row after just seven wickets in two weeks.
Tonny will look to take its momentum into the weekend’s clash with Bamawm-Lockington United, who are without a win this season.