Pressure on cricket Combine

GCA - Swifts/Great Western are suddenly under pressure as they look to force their way into yet another Grampians Cricket Association grand final.

The pressure has built since that last round performance when the Combine lost out to Aradale.

These two teams clash again in this weekend's cut throat semi final.

Who would have thought Aradale would have rolled Swifts/Great Western in this vital final round and who would have thought they would have done it so easily.

In the end the Combine crumbled under the pressure, not a good sign, when going straight into a semi final clash.

Swifts/Great Western didn't score enough runs and then on day two their bowling was unable to penetrate the depth of the Aradale batting line up.

Having Aradale reeling at 3/11 it would have been a fair bet to suggest the Combine attack would rip through the remaining Aradale batsmen. Not so, it turned out to be a real struggle.

Jamie Bach missed day two after collecting two early wickets on the first day, but Marc Brilliant, Jackson Dark, Tom McCord and Tom Eckel failed to get the vital breaks as the Aradale batsmen consolidated. It will need quite a turnaround for the Combine to assert real dominance with the ball in the semi final.

Aradale took control through Travis Horvatek, Matt Stasse, John Townsend and John Butler and even with wickets falling around them were still able to post a winning score last weekend and will be looking to do similar when they bat in the semi final clash.

With the bat the Combine will need Sam Cocks, James Devery, Travis Nicholson, Jackson Dark and Gary Ranton to be at their best if they are to lift their batting performance.

Aradale pacemen John Butler and Brent Tate with support from Tyler Cronin, Jamie Dowling and Matt Baldock will be pulling out all stops to see that this doesn't happen.

The Combine have looked the better team during the home and away season, but last week's impressive win to Aradale certainly adds plenty of spice to this weekend's encounter.

In the other A grade semi final clash Tatyoon and Buangor will clash in a repeat of last week's final home and away round.

Despite a shaky start and the Tatyoon bowlers conceding 158 runs to the Buangor batsmen, Tatyoon came up trumps in the final round and this suggests they will go in as favourites this weekend.

Buangor will be looking to build on that batting effort from last round - A score of better than 200 runs will give their bwlers plenty to work with.

Tyson Carr, Jack Fraser, Chris Jerram and Harry Ganley did okay with the bat last time and will be looking for a repeat this time out, but Buangor can't afford to crumble as they did after such a strong start. Shaun Allen, Jim Fraser, Jack Boatman and Ben Hargreaves must chip in with runs to get the score to a competitive level.

Tatyoon's batsmen showed last week they can bat down the list and captain Ash Maconachie, Andy and Tim McDougall, Lachie Laidlaw, Matt Moore and Zander McDougall are all capable to putting a winning total on the board for Tatyoon.

It will take a huge effort from the Buangor bowlers to pull this match off.

Semi final matches will also be played in B and C grades this weekend.

B grade will play both tomorrow and again on Sunday, while C grade will play one day semi finals tomorrow.

In B grade interest will centre on the clash of Navarre and Halls Gap, but if the last round was any indication Navarre hold the odds, while Chalambar after finishing on top should win the other semi final.

The top two teams in C grade Aradale and Rhymney/Moyston will be favourites to advance through to the grand final.

Semi final matches:

A grade

Tatyoon v Buangor (Umpire - T McKinnis)

Swifts/Great Western v Aradale (P Harris, S Hayter)

B grade

Chalambar v Willaura (D Hey)

Navarre v Halls Gap (A Farish)

C grade

Aradale v Navarre

Rhymney/Moyston v Buangor

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