Aradale, Buangor final
Top team Swifts-great Western was knocked out of finals, while Buangor reversed its result of two rounds ago to advance to Grampians Cricket Association’s grand final.
That pretty much summed up weekend results in A Grade competition.
Aradale continued its recent winning form to defeat Swifts-great Western by 22 runs in a semi-final boilover at Stawell’s Central Park.
It is said that innings are made through partnerships and this proved the case when John Butler, 95, and Clinton Rodger, 33, put together a match-winning 93 to take Aradale from 6-48 to 7-141 against the Combine.
Earlier, Aradale had won the toss and batted and at 5-19 things were looking bleak for the Ararat outfit.
But thanks to a swashbuckling innings from Butler who chanced his arm and with 14 fours and two sixes was unlucky to have missed out on his century, Aradale was able to advance. Best of the Combine bowlers were Marc Brilliant 5-17 and Jayden Mccartney 3-6.
In reply, Swifts-great Western appeared to be sitting pretty at 1-84 when it lost three wickets shortly before stumps on Saturday to finish the day at 4-92.
Sunday saw wickets fall regularly and the top team, which had lost only one home-and-away game for the season and was runaway premiership favourite, fall short.
Best of the Aradale bowlers were Butler and Jamie Dowling with three each.
In the other semi-final at Ararat’s Alexandra Oval, Buangor won the toss and batted against Pomonal.
Most batsmen managed to get among the runs, Shaun Allen top-scoring with 41, Jim Fraser making 38, Chris Jerram 37 and Tyson Carr an unbeaten 35.
Pomonal dismissed Buangor for 201 just before stumps, Luke Jordan the most productive of the bowlers with 3-19 after Matthew Grinham and Lee Oliver worked hard.
But in the five overs remaining for the day Pomonal managed to lose the wickets of Oliver and Sam Spark to finish on 2-5.
The next day Buangor dismissed the Tigers for 133 with spinners Lachie Oddie and Chris Jerram with 4-28 and 4-30 respectively, the best of Buangor’s bowlers.
The grand final will be at Alexandra Oval over the Labour Day long weekend – Saturday, Sunday and Monday this weekend.
The match will start at 11am and consist of a minimum of 90 overs a day.
In this format it would not surprise to see the match go the full four innings.
Aradale has the bowlers to win the game in Butler and Dowling but its batsmen will have to lift to support the bowlers more.
It cannot rely on only one or two to post a winning score.
Buangor has a more dependable batting line-up and it will be relying on slowies Jerram and Oddie to get it over the line.
Buangor will have the added spur of being defeated in last year’s final.