It was preliminary final weekend last week in Great Southern cricket with Encounter Bay defeating Willunga in the A Grade match held at Port Elliot Oval.
The Demons won the toss and elected to bat first, but unfortunately for them their top order couldn’t get going at any stage slumping to 5/54. Williamson (22) and Hoppo (30) added some respectability to the scoreboard before Bruce Elliott chipped in with a fighting innings of 39 not out, as Willunga were all out for 165. Magor (2/24) did the early damage for the Bays with Butler (3/41) also bowled well. Moller finished with the figures of 5/54.
Willunga needed early wickets if they were to be a chance and struck early on day two having the Bays at 2/30 before Carlyle and Matt Overall combined for a 79 run partnership, which basically took the game out of Willunga’s reach. Carlyle was dismissed for a well made 48.
Overall continued to bat superbly to finish on 87 not out, as Encounter Bay reached the victory target comfortably to finish on 5/166 and win their way in to another grand final.
This weekend the A Grade grand final is between Noarlunga and Encounter Bay to be held at Port Elliot Oval. It should be a beauty with Noarlunga reaching their first GSCA grand final while Encounter Bay are searching for their fifth A Grade premiership in a row.
Noarlunga will start as slight favourites having had an easier passage through to the grand final but the Bays have so many players with finals experience which will hold them in good stead come this weekend.
The Shoes’ skipper in Jason Scarff has had another excellent season with the bat and along with Rob McCard will be the two key wickets for the Bays having both scored over 500 runs for the season.
Their battle with the likes of Butler and Moller will be worth watching. Matt Overall has hit form with the bat at just the right time for Encounter Bay and along with Carlyle will need to repeat their preliminary final form to give the Bays their best chance of winning.
Noarlunga boast a very solid bowling attack with McCard leading the way while Trapolino and Robertson offer good support with the ball for the Shoes.
A lot could depend on the fitness and availability on some key players particularly for the Bays and they will be hoping that Cameron Lintern can make a return to the side for this weekend as his ability with both bat and ball would be invaluable not to mention his finals experience.