South Coast cricket: play-off spots hang in the balance

SOUTH COAST CRICKET

Albion Park have a grip on the minor premiership, while fourth spot is in the balance heading into Saturday's final day of the South Coast season.

Albion Park took first innings points from leaders Lake Illawarra on day one at Keith Gray Oval in a virtual minor premiership decider.

The Park dismissed the Lakers for just 102, with Kerrod White making 64, and ended day one at 8-140. Rob Monaghan took 4-34 for the Park, while Park skipper Adam Coughlan made 47.

Park all-rounder Graeme Smith was unbeaten on 50, though it's believed he will be unavailable for day two.

"We had a good day for a change and it'd be great for the club if we won the minor premiership," Coughlan said.

Meanwhile, the losers of the game between Kookas and Oak Flats at Oakleigh Park face missing the top four.

Nathan Brown played a lone hand for Oak Flats, making 80 of their 124.

Scott Cox (5-25) and skipper Gerard Healey (3-15) led the way for Kookas, who will resume at 6-79.

Mick Perry is unbeaten on 33 and Healey admits the game is in the balance.

"We've still a couple of bats in the sheds with Ash Kennedy not able to bat after hurting his finger in the warm-up and we have a substitute bat on day two also," Healey said.

"But it's going to be a real tight finish."

Third-placed Kookas entered the final round six points ahead of Oak Flats, while fifth-placed Shellharbour are on target for an outright win over Gerringong Jamberoo to seal a top-four spot.

Shellharbour rolled the Jets for just 108 and head into day two at 5-127.

Brynley Richards took 3-8 and made 37 for Shellharbour, while skipper Ben Mitchell took 3-42 and is unbeaten on 24.

"We know an outright win puts us in the finals and that's what we're aiming for," Mitchell said.

Kiama made 9-155 against The Rail at Croome Cricket Oval.

Nathan Barr (44) top-scored for Kiama, who had been 1-103, while Joel Willstrop (3-45) and Jarrod Colliss (3-23) got The Rail back in the contest.

The Rail resume at 2-30.

Premiership ladder (before final round): Lake Illawarra  157, Albion Park 150, Kookas 144, Oak Flats 138,  Shellharbour 126, Kiama 82, Gerringong-Jamberoo 63, The Rail 61.

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