Rotorua Boys' High School has split the Rotorua reserve grade cricket competition wide open after giving Central a lesson at the weekend.
Central had the opportunity to wrap up the competition when they took on Boys' High on their home turf. However, the home side were fired up bowling a line and length which the Central batsmen struggled to handle.
Losing the toss and sent into bat as well as missing a couple of regular top order batsman, Central struggled to gather any momen tum. But a lot of this could be put down to the Rotorua bowlers Sam Murdock 2/23, Chance Perham 3/27 and Shayde Perham who took 3/9 off three overs.
The only Central batsmen to get a start were Craig Downs (28), and Christian Thurston (25) with the side being bowled out in the 25th over for 117.
Rotorua always looked comfortable chasing the paltry total with in-form captain Shaquille Graham hitting 53 not out. It's the second half century in two innings for the top order batsman. He was joined by all-rounder Chance Perham who scored 43 with the bat to help lead his side to 120/4 in 17.1 overs.
The win opens the title race for the final round next week with three teams Central, Boys' High and Taupo Wanderers in contention for the title.
Chris Nairn, of Rotorua Cricket Association, said if teams were equal on points after the final round, the title would be shared.
In the other matches in the round, Geyser Cricket Club were beaten by Bay of Plenty Indians.
A captain's knock of 70 by Karl McKnight as well as Matthew Collier's 34 and Graham Kirk's 23 _ after Geyser won the toss and batted first _ saw their side compile 210/6 in the allocated 40 overs at Ray Boord Park.
The Indians managed to reach the total in 35.4 overs for the loss of just three wickets.
Western Heights High School suffered another defeat, this time at the hands of Taupo College.
Batting first, Taupo managed 208/6 with opening batsmen George Dawson and Michael Hargreaves scoring 35 and 22 apiece. Reece MacDonald also contributed with a well-hit 25. Heights fell 13 runs short at 195/5.
Despite a 70 run opening partnership for John Paul College, the side could not continue the momentum and were rolled for 92 all out in their match against Taupo Wanderers.
Wanerers had no problems knocking the total off for the loss of just one wicket.
Rotorua Boys' High School 120/4 (S Graham 53 not out, C Perham 43; bowling S Perham 3/9, C Perham 3/27, S Murdock 2/23) beat Central 117/all out (C Downs 28, C Thurston 25).
Taupo Wanderers 93/1 beat John Paul College 92/all out.
BoP Indians 211/3 beat Geyser 210/6 (K McKnight 70, M Collier 34, G Kirk 23).
Taupo College 208/6 (G Dawson 35, R MacDonald 25, M Hargreaves 22) beat Western Heights' HS 195/5.