LAST season's Northern District Cricket Association A Grade grand finalists continue to lead the way after the first block of home and away matches.
Defending premiers, Leitchville/Gunbower bounced back from its first loss of 2017/18 at the weekend, accounting for Barham/Koondrook, whilst Wandella was too strong for Nondies.
In the match of the round at Riverside Park, Isaac Hogan again proved to be the difference as the Bombers defeated Nondies by 27 runs.
Batting first, Hogan (61) was one of six Bombers players to surpass 10 runs - but the only player to score more than 25 runs - as the hosts fell for 166 in the 38th over.
Will Thrum took three wickets for the visitors, with his scalps coming at times when it looked as though Wandella would post a more than competitive total.
Nondies was in trouble early in its response, with the side 2/18 at one stage before Josh Treacy (38) and Rhys Thrum (31) produced a 51-run third-wicket stand to stabilise the innings.
However, despite the best efforts of Liam Treacy (24 not out), Hogan and Daniel Higgs - who took three wickets each - took control of the match to dismiss Nondies for 139 with 58 balls remaining.
Meanwhile, Blake Gelletly, Jack Lunghusen and Brad Windridge helped Leitchville/Gunbower produce a seven-wicket win against the winless Barham/Koondrook.
The decision to bat first backfired for the border side, which failed to produce any significant partnerships in its total of 113.
Although its middle order - led by Garry Lolicato (25) and Mick O'Toole (25) - all produced starts, the hosts could not stop Gelletly and Windridge from claiming three wickets each.
Oliver O'Shea (31) provided a platform for the visitors to respond, before a 77-run fourth-wicket stand between Lunghusen (61) and Jason Keath (22) secured the win.
A lower order cameo from Todd Gelletly (35 not out) helped the defending premiers reach 8/218 in reply.
Premiers closing in
AFTER losing its first two matches of the season, defending Northern District Cricket Association B Grade premiers, Wandella is three points off the top of the ladder thanks to a 152-run win against Kerang Fairley Town.
Russell Bott, Luke Murray, Neil Lehmann and Nathan Henry set up the Bombers' third win of the season, with the Bombers having to fight back after their Riverside Park rivals dominated with the ball.
Electing to bat first, Wandella was in early trouble at 4/24 after Brad Lake and Mark Higgs had the visitors reeling.
However, Bott (90) and Murray (62 not out) steadied the innings, putting together a 154-run fifth-wicket stand that helped the Bombers reach 6/227 off its 40 overs.
Kerang Fairley Town struggled in its reply, falling for 75 in the 22nd over, with Lehmann (four wickets) and Henry (three wickets) leading the way with the ball.
Last season's grand finalists, Nondies are on top of the ladder after defeating Wandella Warriors by 37 runs.
Sent in to bat, Aiden Thompson (40), Oscar McGraw (31 not out) and Andy Rigg (29) helped the hosts score 167, but were dismissed in the 39th over thanks to four wickets from Craig McGrath.
Matt Messer (25) and McGrath (24) gave the visitors a chance of a unlikely win after the Warriors were 7/72, but Liam Pascoe ensured the Cohuna Recreation Reserve tenants remain undefeated, claiming three wickets to dismiss Wandella Warriors for 130 in the 39th over.
Meanwhile, Barham/Koondrook inflicted Leitchville/Gunbower's first loss of the season, producing a six-wicket win at home.
Sent in to bat, Leitchville/Gunbower struggled against the home side's bowling attack, posting 8/88 off its 40 overs.
A 57-run fifth-wicket stand between Liam Keath (34) and Billy Hawken (26) ensured the visitors would post a competitive score, with Dean McGowan claiming three wickets for the border side.
Tim Coote (38) ensured the hosts would reach the winning total with little fuss, with lower order hitting from McGowan (37) and Steven Farrant (32) seeing Barham/Koondrook score 8/202 off its 40 overs.
A Grade - Cohuna United v Wandella: Neil Bradley; Leitchville/Gunbower v Nondies: Trev Treacy.
B Grade - Leitchville/Gunbower v Nondies: Eric Lake; Cohuna United v Wandella Warriors: Tim Varker; Wandella v Barham/Koondrook: John Hill.