By Tyler Lewis
WGCA OTHER GRADES
REVIEW – SEMI-FINALS
Aura Vale has booked a date with Clyde in the B Grade grand final this weekend.
The Lakers over powered Devon Meadows while Clyde defeated Nar Nar Goon/Maryknoll.
The Lakers won the toss and opted to bat; after getting to 3/128, Aura Vale fell to its knees in the opening innings.
Losing 7/37, including set batsman Mansoor Ahmed who crunched 82, the Lakers were in some strife at the conclusion of its innings.
But as they have done all year, the Lakers flexed their muscles with the ball, running through the Panthers outfit.
Matt Ryan was clutch with the ball for his Aura Vale side, jagging 5/36 from 21 overs; a spell that included nine maidens and five of the top six batsmen.
It was a dark day for the Panthers, as their strongest partnership of the innings was for the ninth wicket, that of 34 runs as it sunk to 122.
In the opposing fixture, Clyde got the best of Nar Nar Goon/Maryknoll.
It was a shocking match to be a batsman as the wickets tumbled throughout the 100 overs of play.
Clyde won the toss and elected to have a bat, but the Cougars didn’t have the dream 52 overs with the willow, only notching 112.
Luke Hill did the damage early for the Marygoons with 3/19, but it was Ashley Bailey who had the ball on a string later in the innings, claiming 3/6 from eight overs, including six maidens.
Hill and Dylan Cameron got the Marygoons off to a seemingly steady start at 0/22 in the low scoring run chase; but then all hell broke loose.
The Marygoons lost its first three wickets for just three runs and then its last four for just eight runs; falling to 106.
Carnage was happening from both ends with the ball, but it was a clinical performance by Daniel Waite who claimed his fourth three-wicket haul of the season with figures of 3/20 from 11.
Aura Vale will host Clyde at Narre Warren East Reserve on Saturday from 1.30pm.
It will be Cardinia and Officer to battle it out for the top prize in C Grade.
Officer knocked off the favourites in Tooradin to enter the big dance, while Cardinia handled Cranbourne Meadows.
The Bullants didn’t put a step wrong after winning the toss, where it opted to bat.
Officer posted a mighty 211 from its 70 overs with Andrew Tucker nudging a match-defining 82.
With the ball, Tyler Evans jagged 5/37 from 20 with seven maidens.
In reply, the Gulls had an almighty collapse after losing its first wicket.
Tooradin was originally 0/18, but lost 10/81, sinking to 99.
The wickets were shared around by the Cardinia bowlers, but David Collins was the pick of the well-performed attack, collecting 4/22 from 15 overs.
Cardinia will join the Gulls, after defeating Cranbourne Meadows.
The Bulls didn’t do it the easy way, but got the job done, moving into the grand final and sitting firm favourites.
The Rebels posted just 116, courtesy of Matt Scott bowling hand grenades, claiming 5/15 to decimate the Cranbourne Meadows batting card.
In reply, the Bulls were 4/47, before a steadying partnership in the middle moved them into a match-winning position.
But at the final hurdle, it seemed to get difficult for the Bulls, who lost two wickets without adding a run only two runs short of victory.
The Bulls ultimately got the runs with two wickets in the shed.
Cardinia will play host to Officer on Saturday and Sunday at Cardinia Recreation Reserve from 1.30pm onwards.
Its Kooweerup and Clyde this Saturday in the D Grade grand final.
Kooweerup extended its unbeaten streak in a remarkable second innings against Emerald.
The Demons posted just 116 in the first dig, and had it under control in the opening overs of its bowling innings, having the Bombers 2/0.
After 70 overs of play, the Demons held the Bombers to 112, winning in a nail-biting affair.
In the corresponding match, second place Carlisle Park were knocked off by Clyde.
The Vikings sent the Cougars in and rattled them for just 112, but it proved to be more than enough as the Carlisle Park side fell to smithereens in the second innings.
The Vikings couldn’t manage to get to the half-way mark of the chase, being bowled out for just 55.
Adam Williams was incredulous with the ball for the Cougars, collecting 5/16.
Clyde will travel to Cora Lynn Reserve this week to take on the undefeated Kooweerup side in the grand final; first ball is set to be bowled at 1.30pm.
In a stunning turn of events, the E Grade grand final will be played between the third and fourth seeded teams at the end of the home and away season.
Pakenham, who knocked off Merinda Park only two rounds ago to stay in touch with the top four, did it again when it mattered most.
Not only did the Lions knock off the top placed side in the opening week of the finals, it did it with ease.
The Lions restricted the Cobras to 9/128 at the close of play on Saturday night, and came back in the morning and crunched its way into the big dance – reeling in the total just four down in 60 overs.
The Lions were 2/13, but that didn’t faze Troy Wilson, who blasted an unbeaten 61 to guide his side into the grand final.
For Gembrook, meanwhile, not much didn’t go to plan on Saturday.
From the toss, the Brookers called correctly and opted to bat, ultimately going on to bat Pakenham Upper/Toomuc out of the contest at stumps on Saturday.
The Brookers posted a whopping 295, Samitha Karunagoda was a mainstay at the crease notching 64.
In reply, the Yabbies only managed to get 130, as Karunagoda stole the show once again with 5/34 from 17 overs.
Gembrook will host Pakenham on Saturday and Sunday at the Gembrook Sports Ground.
Contrastingly to E Grade, the top two sides at the end of the home and away season will face off in the grand final in F Grade.
First place Officer took on fourth placed Pakenham and after 130 overs of cricket, the Bullants stormed into the final match of the year.
Bowling on day one, the Bullants bowled the Lions out for just 116, Luke Dunn snagged 5/42 from 14 overs.
In reply, Officer reeled in the total with relative ease, chasing it four down after 67 overs.
Devon Meadows, meanwhile, was led by Peter Zauner who saved his best knock of the year so far for the semi-final against Clyde.
Zauner belted 100 not out as the Panthers powered to 7/239.
For Clyde, Ron Kane bowled every ball from one end, claiming 3/84 from 35 with 10 maidens.
In reply, the Lions could only scrape to 102, as Zauner jagged 3/41.
Officer will host Devon Meadows at Officer Recreation Reserve this weekend for the F Grade silverware.
The best two sides from the long one-day competition season will meet once again on the final day as Emerald will host Cranbourne Meadows.
Emerald set in its clash against Nar Nar Goon/Maryknoll and posted 140; skipper Warwick Marsh got half of those with 70 (retired).
The Bombers then bowled themselves to victory in the second innings, keeping the Marygoons to 9/87 from their 35.
Marsh again showed his bag of tricks, collecting 4/19 from seven.
Cranbourne Meadows, meanwhile, did it a bit tougher than its grand final opponent, but similarly bowled itself to victory in the semi-final against Upper Beaconsfield.
The Rebels looked to be having grand final week off when it was bowled out for just 115, but the Cranbourne Meadows bowling attack had other plans; rampaging through the Maroons for just 105.
No player reached the 30s for the entire match.
Emerald will host Cranbourne Meadows on Saturday at Chandler Reserve.
NOTE: At the time of going to print, the West Gippsland Cricket Association hadn’t made its stance clear on whether or not its grand finals this weekend would go ahead, despite Cricket Australia strongly recommending the cancellation of all Premier and community cricket competitions.