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Pack Dogs in GF

Monday, 2nd March, 2020

South opener Paul Nicholas hits one of three big sixes. PICTURE: Michael Murphy South opener Paul Nicholas hits one of three big sixes. PICTURE: Michael Murphy

By Michael Murphy

The North Cricket Club will take on Central in the Barrier District Cricket League A Grade grand final next week after dispatching South in the semi-final at the Alma Oval on Saturday.

South won the toss and elected to bat, and lost a few early wickets. Ryan Gillespie (3) was caught behind off the bowling of Tom Davey while first-drop Sheldon Hall (13) skied a top edge off the bowling of Chase Johnson - Anthony Tidball accepted the catch at gully.

Matt Reavill (3) also lost his wicket cheaply, playing a cross-bated lofted shot to Brendon Martin at mid-on, and the Southies were on the back foot at 3/37.

But South opener Paul Nicholas kept playing his shots while his teammates faltered, and when Wade Gepp joined him in the middle, Nicholas began to impact the scoreboard.

Nicholas cracked three big sixes, two into Bonanza Street and the other into Alma School, giving the Southies something to cheer about.

Gepp played a cautious supporting role during the onslaught, but got caught out when he hit one hard to Vella at short mid-on off the bowling of Codie Howard.

At 4/81, South was still in the game, but then Howard got the next wicket - Zac McQuillan - with the next ball, trapping him leg before wicket.

Nicholas was the next to go, finishing with 47 runs off 52 balls, capping off a great month of cricket for the right-hander. He compiled 131 runs in three innings and has proved a top asset for boys over the Hill.

The tail did not wag at all for the Southies - they lost their last seven wickets for 29 runs.

Codie Howard - at one stage on a hattrick - was the pick of the Bulldog bowlers with 4/10 off five overs.

It took South 30 overs to score 111 runs, the Bulldogs did it in 20.

The Dogs lost Matt Letcher and Brendon Martin early, but Tom Carruthers and Codie Howard then set out to put the game beyond doubt.

Howard (30) eventually lost his wicket, and Tobias Hack and Carruthers punched out the rest of the total.

Carruthers smashed a giant six to win the match - to rub salt into Roo wounds, the ball reportedly ending up near the South Football Clubrooms.

The seven-wicket victory by the Bulldogs sets up a terrific encounter against minor premiers Central in the grand final.

The Bulldogs will surely go in favourites after a convincing victory against the Pies in the T20 final in January.

In the B Grade, Central will play the Warriors in the grand final next week after knocking over West by 16 runs on Saturday.

Central batted first and opener Clinton Jones shone with the blade, top scoring with 63 runs off 86 balls, including nine boundaries. The Magpies amassed 163 runs for the loss of five wickets.

Colby Stenhouse was the pick of the West bowlers with 2/37.

Stenhouse was also the pick of the batsmen for West, and if he batted up the order, he could well have put his team into the final.

Batting a number nine, Stenhouse cracked 51 runs off just 29 balls, hitting the boundary seven times. Stenhouse remained not out with teammate Jack Burke. West just fell short, with 9/147 off 30 overs.

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