Peaks and troughs of a finals weekend
Manypeaks will again clash with old nemesis Railways in the Albany Cricket Association A-grade final after steamrolling a disappointing Mt Barker by 84 runs in today’s preliminary final.
Peaks were forced to progress the long way to the season decider following a one-sided semifinal loss to the Tigers after a disastrous batting effort but showed steely resolve with their season on the line.
Peaks recovered from early trouble at 4-46 thanks largely to key all-rounder Warwick Durack (55 from 94 balls) who posted an impressive half century to keep the innings together as the rain tumbled throughout the afternoon.
Chasing their maiden grand final appearance, the Bulls never recovered once key batsmen Nathan Crosby (7) and captain Jeremy Wood (12) were removed as they slumped to 4-27 and showed little resistance as they were bowled out for a paltry 76 in the 34th over.
Peaks will now take on the Tigers for the third time in four seasons, hoping to deny the minor premiers their sixth straight flag.
Yesterday the Tigers marched to a sixth consecutive decider after a crushing eight wicket win over Peaks.
Spearhead Nathan Crudeli (4-16) and Coen Marwick (3-28) helped restrict Peaks to just 84 batting first and the Tigers lost only two wickets as they cruised to victory in the 23rd over to qualify directly into this Saturday’s grand final.
Across at Turf South a finals epic transpired as Royals charged towards the unlikeliest of victories against the Bulls late in the day.
The Bulls innings ended early due to rain as Nathan Crosby made 66 to help his side reach 6-195 which then became 218 under the Duckworth-Lewis method.
However a delay in getting the second innings underway due to a wet pitch and outfield left the Lions with a reduced target of 190 in 35 overs.
The Lions peeled off 70 runs in the first 10 overs as Digby Nuthall was the aggressor before falling on 50 with the score at 3-95.
Matt Wolfe (50) and Dylan Holt (26) produced a 65-run partnership that swung the match back in the Lions favour until Bulls skipper Jeremy Wood dismissed both of them in the same over.
The Bulls caught calmly under pressure as the Lions needed 30 runs off the final 10 overs but kept losing wickets, Alex Fergie taking three of the final four scalps.
The Lions were all out for 176 when Sam Steel was caught at mid-wicket by Crosby to send the Bulls into a preliminary final.
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