GCA - Swifts/Great Western has re-established its ranking as a genuine contender for the Grampians Cricket Association's A grade premiership.
Just a week earlier doubt had been cast on the Combine's ability to reach yet another A grade grand final, when they lost out to fellow finals contender Aradale in the final home and away round of the season.
It was back to business for the Combine at the weekend in their re-match with Aradale this time in the cut-throat semi final clash and they sailed through with flying colours and will now clash with Tatyoon in this weekend's scheduled three day grand final clash.
Tatyoon won their way into the grand final with an impressive semi final win over Buangor.
Unfortunately for Aradale they were unable to re-produce their effort from that final home and away encounter.
Winning the toss and electing to bat on the turf at the Alexandra Oval, Aradale were soon in trouble when Swifts/Great Western's paceman Jamie Bach had opener Travis Horvatek caught, before he had opened his score.
Bach did the damage early and when Aradale had slipped to 4/19, Bach had three of the four wickets.
Clinton Rodger (26) and Tyler Cronin (17) did lead a mini-fight back, but when they both departed, Aradale were in big trouble at 6/76.
Jon Townsend (16) did show some resistance, but the Combine bowlers were dominant. As the Aradale wickets fell Marc Brilliant slipped in with 4/41, while Bach finished with 3/24 and Jackson Dark 2/21 and Aradale were dismissed for 92 runs.
To stand a chance Aradale needed quick wickets when Swifts/Great Western batted, but this never happened.
Opener Sam Cocks set the pace with a quick fire 27 and when he was dismissed the Combine was 1/29. This went to 2/36 when Travis Nicholson failed to trouble the scorers, but James Devery (38no) and Jackson Dark (31no) steadied the innings and when play was called off, Swifts/Great Western finished at 2/100.
Tatyoon set up their semi final win with a strong batting performance on day one and their bowlers followed this up on day two.
Being sent into bat, Tatyoon openers Andy McDougall (40) and Matt Moore (21) worked hard to get a good start , but the effort of Jarrod Blandford (60) was the stand out as the Tatyoon total reached 215.
This was going to be a big chase for Buangor and it did not start well when captain Tyson Carr was trapped in front by Jake Williamson before he had scored.
Chris Jerram (38) steadied the innings a little and runs to Harry Ganley (17), Shaun Ellen (22) and Jack Ganley (28) also assisted, but Buangor were dismissed for 151 runs well short of their target.
Jake Williamson was the key wicket taker with his 4/37 from 17 overs, while Tim McDougall grabbed two wickets.
In B grade, Chalambar and Navarre will battle it out for premiership honours after both were impressive winners in their semi fi nal clashes.
Half centuries to Aaron Jenkins and Brett Crone set up a winning score for Chalambar, while the standout was Grant LePoidevin, who shattered the Willaura innings with his 7/27.
Eight wickets from Zach Chisholm set up Navarre’s semi fi nal win over Halls Gap.
Halls Gap were dismissed for 110 and in reply Navarre fi nished at 4/125.
In C grade, Rhymney/Moyston with a hard hitting 94 runs from Robbie Wilde, took the honours against Buangor and Aradale were winners over Navarre.