Grampians Cricket Association’s senior representative side has dominated the first four days of Bendigo country week, going undefeated to book a spot in today’s final.
The GCA team won all games comprehensively to finish atop the division three ladder as the only unbeaten side and head into the final.
The week started perfectly, with captain Jarrod Blandford winning the toss and his side piling on the runs with the bat.
Nic Baird notched 80 as the team raced to 242 in 50 overs.
Swan Hill fell nearly 100 runs short thanks to a five-wicket haul from Lachlan Oddie as the Grampians notched win number one.
The second game against Wimmera-Mallee followed a similar path, with a half century from Chris Jerram and another team performance getting the Grampians across the 200 mark with the bat.
Jerram matched Oddie’s efforts to claim five wickets and notch a second win.
Winning the toss and batting first yet again, Grampians scored 190 against a competitive Northern United team.
Northern United fought hard but fell short, with Jack Ganley, Michael Harricks and Jerram all picking up three wickets each.
Blandford made it four consecutive coin toss wins on the final round robin day against Grassmere on Thursday, but elected to bowl for the first time.
Another team effort saw Grassmere fall for 126, an easy target for Grampians.
They chased the total down with seven wickets in hand to book a place in the final.
Grampians Cricket Association senior representative coordinator Peter Latham said he “could not be any prouder” of the way the squad competed during the first four days.
“The team we had on paper was very strong and that core group of good players really stood up this week,” he said.
“Thankfully we have won all the tosses which helps but we have bowled quite well and piled on the pressure in the field on quite batter friendly pitches.
“The players have conducted themselves very well and have represented the association and the region with class.”
Grampians’ opponent for the final is likely to either be Bendigo or Northern United.
The match has been cut to 35 overs per innings and brought forward to 9am to avoid the excessive heat that is forecast.
“We can’t wait to get out there and have a crack at winning – we are confident we can do it,” Latham said.
- R1: def Swan Hill DCA by 94 runs
- R2: def Wimmera-Mallee CA by 104 runs
- R3: def Northern United CA by 36 runs
- R4: def Grassmere CA by seven wickets