Wandearah 7/151 def Props 10/75: Wandearah showed why they have played off in 16 of the last 18 grand finals with a comfortable and commanding 76 run victory over Props. The Rams batted first and Thornton (41) and Carmody got them off to a good start before losing two quick wickets at 2/67. From here Wandearah continued to add 20 run partnerships up until the end of their overs. All batters got starts for the Rams and their total of 151 was a real team effort. Fowler picked up 2/26 in another good game and Westley Wyatt taking 1/9 off 7 overs was the pick of the bunch. Props got off to a great start and it seemed the introduction of Gillett swung momentum Wandearah’s way when he removed the in-form Riley Fowler. Bessen was dismissed at 2/40 and this started a mass collapse from Props with top scorer Renfrey (26) watching on through it all. Ashman (3/22) and Congdon (3/7) ripped through the Props middle order with the last 8 batsmen combining for 14 runs only. Props will be disappointed to go out on a low but a few young guys shined brightly for them with Frasier Wyatt and Riley Fowler both having break out seasons.
Warnertown 5/59 def Solly North 10/58: A quick game was over in 2 hours as Warnertown made light work of Solly North, winning by 5 wickets. Solly North batted first and after a solid start at 0/22 they quickly fell to 5/27. Pavlich top scoring with 16 and Finlayson (14) got them to 5/57 before another collapse saw them lose 5/1 and finish all out for 58. O'Brien did the early damage taking 3/15 followed by Thomson and Mooka cleaning up the middle and tail. Warnertown were cruising at 0/21 but they lost 3/4 and at 3/25 needed a calm head which top scorer Brooks provided. When he was removed at 5/53 the Solly North team knew they would need a miracle but you can't help but feel if they had scored 25 more runs the momentum had shifted their way. Anderson 8* saw the Wombats home and into a grand final.
GRAND FINAL PREVIEWS
Wandearah v Solly North, Sat, Port Oval, midday. Umpires: Foster, Wyatt.
Solly North tackle Wandearah to crown the premiers of the 2016/17 season. Both teams boast players who picked up prestigious individual awards with Thornton crowned Grewar medallist and young Oliver Cosmai taking out the 2016/17 Cricketer of the Year. The battle between these two sees Solly North narrowly ahead including a comfortable win last time out. Both teams rely heavily on their openers to fire as both sides have key players in those positions, with Wandearah having Carmody and Thornton and Solly North having Brown and Trezise. On paper, one would suggest Wandearah to have the deeper battling line-up with plenty of experience but Solly North also bat deep and add the experience Warwick brings to the batting line-up, it definitely strengthens the Cats’ ability to post a winning total. Solly North, in my opinion, have the stronger bowling line up with Brown, Trezise and Wallace all brilliant at restricting the ability for the Wandearah to score. Wandearah have damaging bowlers at the arsenal with Gillett, Sedunary and Thornton all wicket takers but don't share the economy rate the Solly North bowlers do and that is where the overs of Congdon and Ashman become so vital for Wandearah to claim the win. The game should be a beauty and to pick a clear cut winner is tough, although Wandearah have plenty of experience in these games and that may just be enough to see them add another title to their ranks.
B Grade – Port Germein v Warnertown, Sat, Globe Oval, 8:30am. Umpires: Broughton and Sellen.
The undefeated Sharks tackle the hot Wombats in a final set for plenty of action. The stated time of play is 8:30 but expect delays due to dampness of the oval. Port Germein has been hot as hot this season, in fact they have lost two games in two seasons including T20 games – red hot is an understatement. They will head into this game favourites yet well aware of the threat a fired up Warnertown team with nothing to lose will offer. Warnertown won comfortably last week but will be worried about the way they lost wickets easily in the run chase and will need to grind out the innings to post a score out of Germein's reach. Warnertown did this in the T20 Grand Final and won the game easily and will need that same approach to upset the Sharks this week. Pole is a strike bowler in good form for Germein and he is aided by the economical Twigden and Hoare as well as the wicket-taking Pine brothers. Twigden and Wauchope have the ability to take the game away from the bowlers but with Mooka and O'Brien bowling well and Brooks providing a different option, the game seems evenly poised for a thrilling grand final.