Finals grudge match
RIVALS Mt Beauty and Dederang will face off this weekend with a place in the Cricket Albury Wodonga district grand final on the line.
The two teams will play each other for the second time in two weeks after squaring off in the final round of the regular season.
Mt Beauty were comfortable winners last time round but Dederang will be full of confidence after upsetting Kiewa in last weekend’s semifinal.
Mt Beauty produced another devastating performance with the ball against Baranduda to book their place in a fourth straight preliminary final.
Both teams will be looking to win through to their first grand final since the 2012-13 season when the two teams went head to head in the decider which the Power comfortably won.
Dederang’s victory over Kiewa was just the Hawks’ second loss of the season and was achieved with a controlled performance with both bat and ball.
With Kiewa missing a number of key players the Demons limited the home side to 9/186 from their 70 overs before reaching the target with few issues on Sunday.
Dederang captain Andrew Creamer was instrumental with bat and ball, on Saturday he produced one of his best spells of bowling for the year, claiming 5/57 off 27 overs before getting his side’s run chase off to a great start, sharing a 79-run opening stand with Hugh Condon.
After Creamer departed for 47, Condon was out for 34 shortly after, while another three wickets would soon see the Demons fall to 5/124.
But Cameron Gregg (63) stayed composed throughout, drawing the Demons level with Kiewa before falling with just one run needed.
It mattered little though, as Nathan McLean struck the winning boundary with nearly nine overs to spare.
In Mt Beauty, the Power’s first day effort was again led by opening bowlers Jake Styles and Al Randell as the pair ripped through Baran- duda, reducing them to 9/34 before the Rangers made it to 69.
Styles grabbed his third six-wicket haul, snaring 6/32 from 20.3 overs including 10 maidens while also passing 50 wickets for the season in the process.
Randell took all four wickets at the other end for seasonbest figures of 4/18.
After bowling Baranduda out in just 40.3 overs Mt Beauty reached 85 at stumps on Saturday but were six wickets down.
Daniel Saville ( 14) and Luke Jones (21) both made starts while Ashan Ranaweera (26), Frank Iaria (28) and Randell (25) all ensured the match wouldn’t require a second innings result, batting until tea on Sunday with the Power ending on 9/149.
Randell said he expects another tough contest against Dederang.
“They are a good side and we know that any side in the top six can beat anyone on their day,” he said.
“We beat them last time but they will be up and about after getting past Kiewa.”
The other preliminary final will be played between Kiewa and Yackandandah.