Brinkworth Koolunga has presented itself with a chance of defending its Stanley Cricket Association A1 title by defeating the Clare Combined Cougars in the penultimate matches the season on Saturday, March 10.
They defeated the Cougars by 67 runs in the preliminary final contest at Clare Oval.
Batting first the Stickmen lost the early wicket of Ben Gill but a 103-run second wicket stand set up a competitive finals total of six wickets for 215.
Skipper Zac Fielding produced an aggressive 44 runs while Kane Steele was even more prolific, making an impressive 58.
Fielding’s typical hard hitting 44 included five boundaries and a six, while Steele dispatched eight fours in his half century.
After this pair was dismissed, within seven runs of each other, and with the Cougars arresting momentum for a short time, Harry Mills and veteran Paul Meyer produced an important 78-run fourth wicket stand.
Mills top-scored for the game with an impressive 71 runs.
His innings include a pair of maximums and six fours while Paul Meyer, a big time performer was a valuable ally, making important 22 included a four and a six.
The Clare Cougars opening bowling pair of Alex Falconer, who claimed 2/34 from seven overs, and Brendan Barton with 2/38 from eight overs were the pick of the Clare trundlers.
Bowling fourth change Hayden Calaby also picked up a pair of victims, finishing with 2/31 from seven overs at the crease.
The Cougars fruitless run chase started with an aggressive 22 by Ben Seymon which included three boundaries and came off just 16 deliveries faced.
A number of Cougars players got starts, getting to double figures but didn’t go on with it.
These included opener Dylan Stutley (10) captain Matt Bennie (18) in the pivotal number four position; middle order all-rounder Alex Falconer (10); and in the lower order Brendan Barton (13), Angus MacDonald (18) and number 11 bat, Royden Harrold (not out 10).
South African-born left-handed batsman/wicket keeper Scott Stedall top-scored with 34 (four fours) for the Cougars and when he was dismissed by Brinkworth Koolunga captain Fielding the score was five for 99.
The Stickmen’s skipper went on to clean up the tail, finishing with 5/29 from 6.5 overs.
Ben Gill bowled his full allotment of nine overs and finish with 2/23.
The trio of Ben Pilkington (1/30 from five overs), teenager quick Jackson Moller 1/23 from six overs and fellow opening bowler Kane Steele, 1/24 also from six overs as well, all got into the act for the victors.
Grand final re-match
This Saturday is a rematch of the 2016-17 grand final combatants, where Lower North will again take on Brinkworth Koolunga.
Last year’s final was won by Brinkworth Koolunga, all out for 89 after 42.4 overs in a low scoring affair with Lower North all out for 68 in 28 overs