Kensington fell just two wickets short of salvaging outright points at Parkinson Oval, helped by a sportingly swift Sturt declaration that opened up possibilities for both sides neither could ultimately attain.
In significantly more comfortable conditions than the previous day, the visitors took just 3.3 overs to claim the first-innings points without further loss of wicket and declared three balls later just five runs ahead.
The home side then took charge of the match for much of the rest of the day, declaring at 7/202 off 55 overs – contributors including Henry Dall (40), Robbie White (49), Euan Fletcher (41no) and Hugh Cranendonk (a late 28 off 29 balls) – to set the visitors an outright target of 198 from 35 overs.
Outright home points looked possible at 3/17 and 4/36, half of the wickets to Scott Aufderheide (2/15), before 19-year-old England Young Lion Euan Woods (75no off 70) joined with Thomas Kelly (41) to take Sturt to the near safety of 4/130 with just seven overs remaining, when the home side channelled some more brown-hearted play of yesteryear. Kelly was bowled by Elliot Opie (3/51) a ball after being hit by a fair delivery he’d misjudged, swiftly followed by a brilliant Adam Hose run out, triggering a slide to 8/150 with 17 balls to negotiate – negotiated safely they were, however, Sturt singing their song and Kensington’s flagship side now left with a tough road to avoid missing two-day finals action for the first time since 2009-10.