UNITED will chase 230 as it looks to put some space between itself and sixth-placed Maiden Gully in the Emu Valley Cricket Association.

Three teams are separated by just three points – United, West Bendigo and Maiden Gully – as the season winds down to a conclusion.

The target could have been greater after Gully rocketed out of the blocks to sit at 122 without loss before Harry Moore struck, trapping opener Alex Gorrie leg before for 60.

From there the flow of wickets was steady, innings top scorer Rob Brown (72) next to fall at 2/138 before Gully lost 5/36 in the middle order.

Some valuable late hitting from Leigh Draper and Brett Haw saw the total well past 200 before the last three wickets fell within six runs as James Smith (5/23) cleaned up the tail.

Andrew Duguid chipped in with a pair of wickets for the Tigers, who will need the likes of Josh White and Kieran Nihill to fire with the bat if they are to move back into the top four.

At Marong, a good start with the ball could prove a bail out for a batting collapse from ladder leader Sedgwick as the Rams and Panthers start day two of their match.

Matt Dwyer was again among the runs as the Rams made 114 without loss, before losing opener Daniel Chamberlain for 49 and Greg Thomas departing without adding to the scoreboard.

Dwyer (90, seven fours and four sixes) then put on 28 with Simon Marwood before the latter was caught off the bowling of Dean Cosgriff.

Cosgriff, easily Marong’s best bowler on the day, picked up Dwyer shortly as part of his effort of 6/65 off 20 overs.

Dwyer went back to the sheds at 4/158 before the Rams rolled over, losing their final six wickets for 26 to be all out for 184.

With Marong in the hunt, Dwyer showed he can have as much damage with ball in hand, claiming the valuable wicket of Shannon Walters.

 Chris McCalman then picked up the dangerous Scott Ross to send Marong to stumps at 2/35 from 11 overs.

At Mandurang, an 83-run stand for the ninth wicket has helped the hosts out of a sticky situation against Spring Gully.

Afer the Rangas were 8/140, James Pietromonaco and Darcy Radford managed to hold the innings together and avoid getting skittled for under 150.

Pietromonaco made 87 including six fours and six sixes, while Radford contributed 15.

Eventually, Mandurang was bowled out for 243. In reply, Spring Gully went to stumps on 18 without loss from seven overs.

In the round’s other match, four wickets to Brad Webster saw West Bendigo bowled out for 178 against Golden Gully, who went to stumps at 1/13 in reply.