Fi­nal top four jos­tle in Grampians cricket

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Sport -

As Grampians Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion en­ters its fi­nal home­and-away round for the sea­son, fi­nal­ists ap­pear to be tak­ing shape. But the ex­act fin­ish­ing or­der is un­de­cided.

Three games have a bear­ing on the fi­nal-four wash-up, while the fourth is purely aca­demic.

The match that has no bear­ing on the fi­nals is be­tween Halls Gap and Navarre.

Both teams lost out­right last round, so one team will re­deem it­self, and on form this would be the Grasshop­pers.

Navarre has an edge in tal­ent, with main run-get­ters Tom and Jessie Han­nett a class above the Gap­pers’ bats­men.

Swifts-great Western leads the com­pe­ti­tion by two points from Taty­oon, but must travel to Taty­oon.

The Hawks are the only team to beat the Com­bine this sea­son, and an­other win would see them ce­ment that all-im­por­tant top-two fin­ish.

Pomonal failed to ful­fil an as­so­ci­a­tion direc­tive to play a resched­uled match against Swifts-great Western on Sun­day and the Com­bine is claim­ing a for­feit and six points.

If granted, the Com­bine would have a strong grip on top spot, which would only loosen with an out­right loss to Taty­oon.

It was in­ter­est­ing to see for­mer premier­ship cap­tain Jack­son Dark play his first game for the Com­bine on Satur­day.

The Com­bine might have a bit more bat­ting depth than the Hawks, although Jar­rod Bland­ford’s tal­ents can­not be ig­nored.

Aradale comes up against Buan­gor in a must-win for Aradale.

An Aradale loss could see it ex­posed as a fi­nal­ist, while a win could el­e­vate it to as high as sec­ond. Buan­gor has come into a bit of form lately with a big out­right win over Navarre.

Chris Jer­ram has been dev­as­tat­ing with the ball on Ararat’s Alexan­dra Oval pitch re­cently and is ex­pected to play a big part in the match.

Youth Club sits nine points be­hind Aradale and would need Aradale to lose, and then de­feat Pomonal out­right at Stawell’s Cen­tral Park, to gain a last-minute fi­nals berth.

The Club­bers will give it their best shot, but it’s a big ask.

Last week’s games fea­tured three out­right vic­to­ries in the scram­ble for ex­tra points.

In the bat­tle of the moun­tain men, Pomonal de­feated Halls Gap out­right.

Re­sum­ing at 6-62 the Gap­pers made it to 95, and when asked to bat again made a cred­itable 213 with Char­lie Mcin­tosh, 55, and Brett Thomas, 41, the main con­trib­u­tors. This forced the Tigers to bat again, but at 1-33 recorded vic­tory.

Swifts-great Western had a com­fort­able win over Aradale, record­ing 9-186, with James Dev­ery, 56, and Rick Peters, 43, en­sur­ing the win.

Buan­gor had no hes­i­ta­tion in ask­ing Navarre to fol­low on and the Grasshop­pers fal­tered to be all out for just 32 on the bowler-friendly wicket.

Jack Gan­ley fin­ished with 5-18.

At Taty­oon, Youth Club failed by just nine runs to keep its sea­son alive.

Bat­ting a sec­ond time, Taty­oon was all out for 126 with Michael Har­ricks hit­ting 66.

This left the Club­bers with 140 runs to get, but they fell short on 131, Cam Kim­ber top-scor­ing with 59.

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