Great Southern cricket's top four ready for finals battle

Round 11 of Great Southern cricket concluded on Saturday with Goolwa locking away fourth spot on the ladder and guaranteeing themselves a finals berth.

Goolwa players have guaranteed themselves a finals berth.

Noarlunga, scoring a comfortable victory, and Encounter Bay and Willunga, scoring outright victories, highlight the gap between the top four sides and the bottom four sides.

Encounter Bay was far too strong for Mount Compass as the Bulls were bowled out for 85 and 98 in pursuit of 198 with only the experienced Bryce Garrard offering any resistance with the bat scoring 23no and 48.

Lintern was best with the ball for the Bays finishing with match figures of 6/15 while Hynes (3/20), Butler (2/14), Magor (2/26) and Unsworth (2/13) all chipped in as well.

Goolwa proved far too strong for local rivals Port Elliot scoring a big victory to secure their spot in this year’s finals series.

Resuming at 2/23, chasing 168, the Bloods batting line-up capitulated to be bowled out for a paltry 58 which ended any chance they had of making this years finals.

Jones 5/33 had a day out with the ball for the Magpies and was well supported by Evans (3/21) while Gordge (22no) was the only batsman for Port Elliot to show some sort of application in what was a very poor batting display.

Willunga scored outright points against McLaren Districts in comfortable fashion with the Crushers posting 124 in their second innings with Natale (32) and youngster Luke Goodieson (22) batting well while Roberts (5/18) and McMillan (3/26) did the damage with the ball for the Demons.

Harding made a solid 25 at the top of the order in the second innings for Willunga as they chased down the victory target with ease finishing on 3/75.

Noarlunga easily accounted for Yankalilla and after resuming at 0/44 the Shoes pushed on to 8/191 with Kuss (65no) top scoring for Noarlunga.

Carlyle (40) continued his good form with the bat while Bartlett was the pick of the bowlers finishing with 3/49.

The Tigers were then sent in for a second innings and were in early trouble at 2/2 before Fisher (21no) and Bartlett (18no) settled things down before an early finish was called with Yankalilla sitting on 2/40. This week sees the final minor round match take place and while the top four sides are locked in there are still some ladder positions up for grabs.

Willunga take on Encounter Bay and a win for the Demons will see them lock in top spot on the ladder although they would still probably hold their position at the top even if they lost due to superior percentage while a win to the Bays could see them jump in to second spot if Noarlunga were to lose.

Noarlunga take on Goolwa and the Shoes will be hell bent on winning this one to maintain second spot on the ladder to keep the vital double chance come finals time while Goolwa would be keen to take winning form in to this year’s finals.

Port Elliot plays host to McLaren Districts and while both teams have missed this years finals they will want to finish their season on a positive note and a win to the Crushers would see them jump in to fifth spot ahead of the Bloods.

The final game of the round between Mount Compass and Yankalilla is a battle for the wooden spoon, an award that neither team would want so this will be sure to be an entertaining affair as both sides fight to avoid finishing on the bottom of the ladder.