NEW Norfolk I defeated Wellington by four wickets in a thrilling finish at Eady St on Saturday. Needing 233 for victory, the Red Caps lost two wickets early for only six runs. Harry Booth then batted well, making 52 (five fours, two sixes), and with Matthew Bowden’s 26 (two fours, one six) the pair put on a 62-run stand to steady the ship. But then Bowden fell with the score at 3-65, captain Jason Rigby went at 4-83 and Booth at 5-107. The team needed another good partnership and they got it through Adam McKeown with 57 runs (four fours, two sixes) and Jordan Banks-Smith who made his best score of the season with 57 not out (four fours, one six). The pair batted extremely well, putting on a 89-run stand. When McKeown fell with the score at 6-196 there was still work to be done. Banks-Smith and Rohan Heron set to it with one over remaining and eight runs needed from six balls. Banks-Smith got a single from the first ball. Heron cooly hit the next to the fence for four, and the third ball for three runs — and the Red Caps were home. New Norfolk will now play St Anne's in the second semi-final on Saturday with the winner going into the grand final.
RICHMOND/CAMBRIDGE defeated Gretna I by three wickets in the first semi-final at Gretna. The home side won the toss and elected to bat, making 9-173 off 50 overs. Rhys Browning top-scored with 37, hitting three fours and one six. Zac Crosswell gave good support with 32 (three fours), opener Ben Rainbird made 20 (two fours), Luke Crosswell 17, Jackson Ackerly 12 (one four) and Peter Jelkic 11. In reply, Cambridge got the job done, finishing with 7-174 off 47.3 overs. The Gretna bowlers tried hard and the team was right in the game up until the last few overs. Best of the bowlers were Craig Cunningham with 1-17 (10), Ben Rainbird with 1-18 (6) and Jackson Ackerly with 1-19 (5).
BOTHWELL I went down to Bagdad at Bothwell by 87 runs in the second semi-final. After sending the visitors in, Bagdad hit up the good score of 7-218 off its 50 overs. In reply, it just wasn’t the Bucks’ day and they were dismissed for 131 off 41 overs. Cody Eyles top-scored with an entertaining 32, hitting six fours and one six. With the ball for Bothwell, Nathan White finished with 3-48 (10), Matthew Eyles 2-46 (10) and Nathan Eyles 1-34 (6). Bothwell has a chance to redeem itself on Saturday when it plays Claremont in the preliminary final.
NEW Norfolk III booked a grand final berth with a resounding 110-run win over Hobart in the second semi-final at Tynwald Park. After being sent into bat, the Red Caps made 7-206 off 50 overs. Openers David Mitchelmore 68 (five fours) and Steven Sillifiant 36 (two fours, three sixes) set up a good foundation with a 70-run stand. Mitchelmore then put on a 64-run partnership with Coby Kemmler, who made a handy 26. Kemmler showed great fight and also put on 42 with Aaron Drew who made 32 (three fours, one six). In reply, Hobart couldn’t handle the New Norfolk attack and was bowled out for just 96 off 34.5 overs. Paceman Brad Kemmler sent down seven overs for the return of 4-19 in a great spell. Opener Aaron Drew also at his best taking two of the top three batsman finishing with 2-18 from 10 overs including three maidens. New Norfolk now has a week’s rest and awaits the winner from this Saturday’s preliminary final between Hobart and Montagu Bay.
BOTHWELL II went down to Wellington by 44 runs in the second semi-final at Richmond. Batting first, Wellington hit up the good score of 6-247 off its 50 overs. In reply, the Bucks put in a big effort, but were dismissed for 203 off 47.4 overs. Batting at No. 6, veteran Brad Eyles top-scored with a fine 71, which included 10 fours and one six. Brad put on 44 runs with Blake Eyles, who made 30 (four fours), then put a big stand of 98 with Mark Pearce’s 37 runs (two fours). After finishing on top of the ladder, Bothwell II lives another day and will play St Anne's in the preliminary final this weekend.