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Soaring Magpies march into final

Monday, 4th March, 2013

Matt Jardine top scored for Central with 59. Matt Jardine top scored for Central with 59.

By Newcomer

Central have progressed through to the local cricket grand final against West after a decisive 118 run victory over North at the Alma Oval.

Batting first Central compiled a respectable score of 7/245 and North never really issued a challenge, replying with 127 runs.

Hywood and Wells got the perfect start with a 64 run opening stand, scoring at a brisk five runs an over, which set the match up for Central and from here on in it was easy sailing for the rest of the innings.

With the dismissal of both batsmen, Central were cruising at 2/83 from 18 overs and it was further improved with a 70 run partnership between Jardine and Heath.

Jardine in particular was aggressive, contributing 50 of those runs.

Jardine was caught and bowled by Napier and Central were in overdrive at 3/153 from 29 overs and North seemed powerless to stop them. Central just needed to seal the deal by putting North away in the final 16 overs.

They did so, smacking 92 more runs with Jarred Paull, Heath, Carroll and Rosenbaum all getting into the 20s and Central had finished on 7/245.

It was a huge mountain that North had to climb and it wasn't made easier with the dismissal of Victory in the 3rd over and a little later Napier who was bowled by Casey Paull to have North 2/32 from 10 overs.

The important stage of the match came about with Hack and Morgan now at the crease and North's chances of victory hinged on this pair.

The boys rallied, moving the score along to 89 before the introduction of veteran Paul Rosenbaum, who tore through North's middle order, claiming three wickets for two runs from five balls, and the game was over in the space of minutes.

At 5/92 and not much left in the tank Central could sniff a win and North could see their season slipping away.

Pitt fell plumb to Wells, and Mitchell, Savage and Martin were bowled comprehensively by Hannon and with O'Mally chipping in with his first scalp, North were bowled out for 127 in the 34th over.

All up, Central deserved victory and this sets it up for a tantalising mouth watering grand final next week, where the two best teams in the town playoff for the premiership shield. It should be a classic.

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