B Grade Preliminary Final
Risdon v Wandearah
The Tigers moved into the B grade grand final with a four wicket win over the Rams on Saturday morning.
The Rams were in trouble early at 3/9 with Graeme Swan (0), Luke Davis (4) and Darcy Puddy all back in the pavilion. The Tigers bowled an extremely tight line and length and gave little away all innings.
Jack Gibson (6) and Dean Anderson (7) were unable to lift the run rate during their stay at the crease.
Cara Fiebig played a patient innings and was looking to up the run rate when Nathan Marwick took a brilliant one handed catch to see her dismissed for 19 with the Rams on 58. Cam Harvey was the last batsman dismissed making 18 as the Rams limped to 7/79 from 35 overs.
B grade team of the year member Peter Reed was great bowling eight overs to claim 2/12. Andrew Thorsteinsen went at less than a run an over finishing with 1/7 from eight overs. Andrew Haren bowled six overs claimed 2/9. Veteran Lachlan McAuliffe claimed 2/29 for the Tigers.
The Rams wanted early wickets but the Tigers openers of Matt Kennedy and James Congdon worked hard taking the score to 28 before Kennedy was dismissed for 10.
The game seemed to be over as the Tigers took the score to 1/53.
After James Congdon was run out for 24 some inspired bowling from Michael Ashman saw the Tigers lose 4/1 to leave them 5/54.
Leigh Hajisavva played some shots to ease the nerves of the Tigers players and supporters but was dismissed for 15 six runs short of the target.
From there the Tigers eased home to book themselves a berth in the decider.
Michael Ashman bowled brilliantly dragging the Rams back into the match claiming 4/11 from eight overs. Captain Rob Jeffries was the only other wicket taker for the Rams taking 1/19.
The Tigers played great finals cricket and will look to stangle the Sharks potent batting line up next week in the Grand final.
The Rams couldn’t get the runs they required after their top three batsmen were dismissed cheaply. Overall a good year for the Rams B grade to make their first finals campaign for a number of years.
A Grade Grand Final
Wandearah v Proprietary
Wandearah and Proprietary have dominated Port Pirie cricket for over two decades and they will go at it again in this weekend’s A grade grand final.
The Panthers won all the minor round matches between these two sides while the Rams won the semi-final played two weeks ago.
The Rams batting has relied heavily on Grewar medallist Matt Thornton throughout the season.
There is no doubt there is talent in the Rams batting line up with Andrew Congdon, Stevie Athanasos, Chris Crouch Scott Gray and Matt O’Shaughnessy all capable batsmen.
The Rams real strength over the years has been their ability to restrict batting line ups with good bowling.
The opening bowling combination of Todd Baker and Matt Thornton has been a good one this season. They will need to get early wickets for the Rams to have a chance.
Andrew Congdon, Scott Gray, Rhys Gillett, Nelson Ferme and Marc Congdon will all have a say with the ball.
The Panthers will take plenty of confidence from last week’s batting display as their top order failed to fire but they were still nearly able to reach 150.
If on song I am sure they will be looking for a score of around 200.
Randall Wyatt, Peter Bessen, Terrence Pellegrini, Mitch Young, Reece Fowler and Tate Bradley have all produced when required this season and will again be called upon with the bat to score the majority of the runs.
Props bowling line up is probably the strongest in Pirie at the moment. Reece Fowler, Fraser Wyatt, Westley Wyatt and Tyler Thorpe are very good pace bowling options.
The spin twins of Randall Wyatt and Tate Bradley are also very hard to get away.
Props enter the match as favourites after having an outstanding season so far and only suffering two loses.
The Rams will back themselves as they have a wealth of grand final experience. I think the match will come down to the toss.
Whoever wins will most probably bat and if they can make 150-160 both sides have the bowling line up to defend that total.
B Grade Grand Final
Port Germein v Risdon
The top two sides from the minor round will clash in this year’s B grade Grand Final.
The Sharks easily won the Second semi-final by nine wickets in a game out of character for these two sides.
The Sharks and the Tigers usually offer up exciting and tense affairs and this promises to be no different.
The Sharks have been outstanding since they recovered from a shaky first four weeks of the season.
The opening batting pair of Mick Phillipps and Recorder medallist Jeff Twigden is probably the best in B grade cricket.
If these two fail there is still Damien Wauchope, Cam Hoare, Dan Pine and Dwyane Hill who can fire.
Cody Bray won the B grade bowling aggregate with 24 wickets and will be looking to add to his tally in this weekend’s Grand final.
Twigden, Hoare, Lachie Pole, Mack Brentson and Phillp Hall are all very good options with the ball.
Matt Kennedy and James Congdon will need to be solid at the top of the order for the Tigers to build a base to take pressure off the middle order.
Nathan Marwick, Leigh Hajisavva, Vittorio Ciampi and Lachlan McAuliffe have loads of experience that should see them in good stead while batting in the pressure of a Grand final.
The Tigers bowling was very impressive last week and they will need to be at their very best again this week to restrict the Sharks.
Opening bowlers Peter Reed and Andrew Thorsteinsen will have their work cut out to take early wickets.
If they are able to take a couple of early wickets the pressure will be on the Sharks.
Andrew Haren and the spin of Lachlan McAuliffe, Vittorio Ciampi and Leigh Hajisavva can bowl tight and will need to do so this week for the Tigers to have any chance.
I expect the Tigers to be up and about this weekend and to push the Sharks all the way.
The Sharks have the explosive raw talent while the Tigers play a team game where everyone does their part.
I think the Sharks will make it three in a row in what I hope is a very tight hard contested match.