SOUTHERN CRICKET ASSOCIATION
New Norfolk I kept its premiership dreams alive with another nail-biting victory in the first semi-final at Abbotsfield Park on the weekend. Needing nine runs from their final over, the Red Caps got home with just one ball to spare. Chasing Claremont's 10/206 off 50 overs, New Norfolk got off to a disastrous start, losing Jake King and Harry Booth with no score on the board. Not long later they were 3/13 and looking down the barrel of a finals exit. What transpired from here showed why this team has now won its past eight matches in a row. With Seb Wishart and captain Jason Rigby at the crease, the pair went about rebuilding the innings and that they did, sharing a 77-run stand.
When Wishart departed with a valuable 31, this brought David Maddox to face the music and he did it with full face of his bat, going on to make an unbeaten 74. With Rigby now established at the crease, the pair put on an 83-run stand to get the score to 5/173 after Rigby's captains knock of 70 (with seven fours) came to and end. Nathan Eiszele fell for 4 on the first ball of the final over, Joe McCulloch went for three and the score was 7/198, with nine runs still needed from five balls. David Maddox and Rohan Heron showed cool heads and finished off the match with just one ball remaining, much to the joy of their team mates and supporters who were pretty excited to say the least. Earlier with the ball, all six Red Caps bowlers claimed wickets, with Nathan Eiszele the best with 2-25 (8) and Seb Wishart 2-28 off 10. Joe McCulloch gave great support with 2-31 (10).
In all it was a fantastic result for the team that just keeps rolling along like a train building up steam and it could only be a matter of time before that whistle blows. Just one win away from a place in the grand final, this Saturday's preliminary final will be eagerly awaited.
Molesworth exited the finals race in straight sets after going down to the Knights at Boyer Oval by the big margin of 141 runs in Saturday's preliminary final. Winning the toss, Molesworth sent the visitors in to bat and they posted the very good score of 9/244 off its 50 overs. In reply, Molesworth lost regular wickets and was bowled out for 113 off 31.1 overs.
Brad Coppleman was the only batsman to show much resistance with a well-made 55 (five fours, four sixes). The next-best scorers were Josh Ransley with 13 and Nick Piuselli 12 (two fours). Earlier with the ball, opener Jeremy Nichols was the best of the bowlers with 3-30 off 9 overs. It was not the result Molesworth was after, but it was a good effort to finish on top of the ladder after the roster matches.
Bothwell lost to Bagdad by eight wickets in the preliminary final played at Bagdad. Bothwell won the toss and elected to bat, making 10/136 off 32.4 overs. In reply the home side reached the target with ease, finishing 2/140 off 22.2 overs. Bothwell statistics were not available at the time of writing.