REIGNING champions Quorn battered league leaders Central/Stirling to blow the race for first place wide open with just one week until finals.
Quorn captain Alex Hosking scored a third consecutive century to lead by example yet again, smashing 111 runs in his side’s massive 182-run win.
Openers Hosking and Liam Bury, who scored a solid 72 runs, combined for a total of 200 runs, setting the tempo right from the get-go.
Tigers had the difficult task of chasing down Quorn’s tally of 278, but made a solid start through Drew McDonald and Seb Goldsmith, combining for a quickfire 35 runs.
But top quality bowling from Quorn, led by Max Clarke who took four wickets, made the Tigers’ uphill battle too steep to climb, finishing with just 96 runs.
After starting the season with five straight losses, Quorn have bounced back to win their last six matches, while Central/Stirling have one last chance to secure an automatic Grand Final berth after spawning two chances in a row.
Tigers have seven wins from 11 rounds, while Quorn and South, who both have six wins, still have the chance to snatch top spot and go straight to the final in the last minor round.
Meanwhile, West Augusta’s finals hopes were dashed on the weekend by South Augusta, suffering a 92-run loss.
Marcus Kerin was influential with the bat, scoring 49 runs from the middle order, while Ben Trewartha and Nathan Nistico secured victory with the ball, taking four wickets each.
South did not get off to the best start, with opener Corey Cuffe dismissed on two, but Jack Muirhead came in to combine well with Todd Kernahan, racking up 45 runs together.
Solid scores late on from David Robinson (36) and James Harrison (23) helped the Bulldogs finish with a strong tally of 9/229. Josh Dunstan and Dale Buckley bowled well for the Hawks, taking three wickets each.
West never quite got going with the bat, as Ashley Stroyan top scored with 35 before the league’s cellar dwellers were bowled out for 137.
With just three victories, season 2017-18 has been one to forget for Westies, who finished as runner-ups last season. The Hawks will be looking for a consolation win in their final game against Quorn, while South and Central/Stirling will face off in a crucial match-up.