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Round 17 is finished and the top four is still wide open with 4 sides fighting out for two spots next round for a place in the finals.

At Sohier Park, an impressive batting display by Lisarow Ourimbah helped the secure the win against The Entrance. Winning the toss and batting, the loss of an early wicket didn’t halt the Magpies as they went about building a strong total. Standouts with the bat for the Magpies were their big three with Ben Sunshine making a quickfire 58, first grade leading run scorer Ben Cohen passed 500 runs for the year on his way to 53, while NSW Imparja Cup batsman Ryan Fenning fell just short of a half century, being dismissed for 49. Fiery quick Kobe Allison was the pick of the bowlers taking five wickets while Mitch Starkey claimed two. The Gullies chase didn’t start well losing star bat Adam Taylor in the 2nd over and struggle to build a big enough partnership early on. Callum Dunkerley was impressive scoring 52 before being dismissed just after drinks. The Entrance never gave up hope and a 66-run partnership between Jason Blackwood, 40, and Kobe Allison, 24, gave them a fighting chance but when they fell in consecutive overs it was all over. Ben Sunshine continued his great game with 3 wickets while 14-year-old Daniel Thompson impressed in his debut taking two wickets. The win sees the minor premiership go to Lisarow Ourimbah while The Entrance play Kincumber Avoca next week in a game where if they lose, may be out of the finals.

Kincumber Avoca also locked in second spot with a comprehensive 5 wicket win against Warnervale. Batting first, the Wildcats were travelling well moving the score to 2-50 before Tony Cornwell was dismissed for 31 and then losing their last 8 wickets for 49. Skipper Dan Heuston was the leading wicket taker claiming three with Rob Lavery and Jack Heuston also taking two each. With a chance for bonus points on offer, Kincumber Avoca had great start with Harry Woodhead, who’s been in fine form since forming new friendships off field, making 44 at better than a run a ball and holding the innings together. The Wildcats thought hard and took five wickets but there just wasn’t enough runs on the board to defend. Brett Russell took two wickets while Daniel Hill, Mitch McNeilly and Daniel Watson also claimed a wicket. Kincumber Avoca now have secured 2nd spot and the all-important double chance while Warnervale has come to an end when they have a bye next round.

Northern Power improved their chances of making finals with a bonus point victory at Harry Moore Oval against Southern Spirit. It was a dominant bowling performance from the Power who were up and about from the first ball dismissing the Spirit for 53. Lachlan Cork showed some fight facing 60 balls for 19 runs but didn’t have much support elsewhere. Brendan Charlton bowled with pace and took four wickets while Dane Lawther also claimed three. The Power were clinical in their run chase only losing the one wicket with Dave Molan, 17*, and Ben Gillies, 17*, guiding them home within 14 overs. Young bowler Harrison Jaenke charged in and was the sole wicket taker for Southern Spirit. The Power now sit 5th with a win next week against Wyong and a loss from the Seagulls most likely putting them in finals while the Spirit will play their last game at home against Narara Wyoming.

Narara Wyoming and Terrigal Matcham was washed out after rain flooded the ground at the beginning of the week while Wyong had the bye.

Full scorecards:

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Round 16 concluded with the top four taking shape as some sides chased all important bonus points heading into the final stages of the season.

At Jubilee Oval, Narara Wyoming cemented themselves in the top four and jumped into third spot with a 54 run win over The Entrance. Resuming at 5-27 and having lost key bastman Marc Mariner to injury through the week, the Seagulls did not start well losing two early wickets before Jason Blackwood and Kobe Allison tried to fight their way back into the game. The pair put on 59 before Allison was adjudged LBW for 31 and then Blackwood being dismissed for 45, giving Narara Wyoming first innings points. Kyle Jordan was the pick of the bowlers once again claiming three poles while young spinner Tom Owen also picked up three. The Lions went out looking to claim another few bonus points, were able to achieve that when the match finished with them sitting on 2-76. Peter Cross finished 32* while Michael Anderson made 26. Adam Taylor picked up one wicket to finish with 8 wickets for the match.

Over to Duffys Rd where North Power’s finals aspirations took a hit as they fell 39 runs short of chasing down Terrigal Matcham’s first innings total. Resuming at 2-9, the Power batted time knowing the later it got, the more chance they had. After losing Brendan Charlton, Ben Gillies combined with Chris Archer to add 46 for the fourth wicket to start putting a bit of pressure on the Bellbirds. But the Power fell in a hole losing 3-6 including the key wicket of Gillies for 40 and never could recover finally being bowled out for 104. Josh Bridge was outstanding claiming his third five wicket haul of the year while youngster Austin Haba claimed his best figures in first grade with 3-20. Both teams knowing that bonus points are needed to make finals went out in the second innings and it was Terrigal Matcham who gained an all important half point finishing 3-75 with first innings star Reece Bombas continuing his form with a polished 37*. The win sees the Bellbirds jump the Power into 5th spot on the table with a big two games remaining.

Lisarow Ourimbah all but secured the minor premiership with a comprehensive 126 run win over Warnervale. Resuming at 1-53, the Wildcats knew the first hour was going to be important and they started well moving the score to 93 before losing two wickets right before drinks. Another partnership got going before they fell in a heap, losing their next six wickets for 17 runs, being bowled out for 145. Ben Sunshine was magnificent with the ball taking four wickets while Mitch McBeath turned back the clock taking two wickets. Tony Cornwell top scored for the Wildcats with 32 and Brett Russell making 31 the week before. Having to play till 4pm, both teams went out and got some on field practise with Matt Sunshine playing a steady knock, ending on 36*.

In the final match of the round, Wyong pushed themselves further away from the wooden spoon with a 56 run win over Southern Spirit. Sitting at 5-47 at the start of the day, they need a big partnership from two batsmen but couldn’t find it losing wickets whenever looking like they were making inroads. Mitch Way came in at the end and smoked 31 in short time but it was all to late being bowled out for 143. Kaleb Daley was the pick of the bowlers taking three wickets. With plenty of time still in the day, Wyong went and had another dig and the Spirit fought hard, bowling the Roos out for 99. Leg spinner, Ben Orman bowled with beautiful flight and guile to take 6 wickets. Sheamus Kelly was the best of the bats with 32. Southern Spirit second innings was entertaining losing 5 wickets within 19 overs including another 3 to Kaleb Daley. Mitchell Fiddock top scored with 20 for the Spirit.

Kincumber Avoca had the bye.

Lisarow Ourimbah 76.7%, Kincumber Avoca 60.7%, Narara Wyoming 54.6%, The Entrance 50%, Terrigal Matcham 44%, Northern Power 41.3%, Wyong 40%, Warnervale 32.5%, Southern Spirit 16.4%

Full scorecards:

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