BUNDALAGUAH and Sale will meet in what promises to be an intriguing Sale-Maffra cricket grand final.
The sides scored the most runs during the home-and-away season and will look to make the most of playing at the Cameron Sports Complex, where the pitch has traditionally favoured the batsmen.
However, low scores from recent matches at the venue suggests bowlers are receiving more assistance from the pitch. This situation will put the onus on the bowling attacks.
The Bulls have taken the most wickets this season, Sale the third most.
Bundalaguah opening bowlers Karl High and Aaron Lynch will be looking for early breakthroughs, as they have done in recent weeks, while Trevor Wrigglesworth and Adam Cairns have been consistent wicket-takers.
For Sale, Ben Howes and James Dyer have each claimed more than 20 wickets this season. Veteran captain Ian Wrigglesworth is still a danger with the ball, as shown in the semi-final against Rosedale-Kilmany last Sunday when he took a hat-trick.
The Bulls’ runs have been spread around with Nathan Massey, Ben Saxon, captain Mat Dowsett and mid-season addition Adrian Burgiel making their mark.
Father and son Ian and Jack Wrigglesworth have been Sale’s leading run-scorers this season.
The teams had contrasting semifinal victories last weekend.
Bundalaguah took a day to take care of Boisdale-Briagolong.
Dismissing the Saints for 120, the Bulls reached 4-147 at stumps, when the captains agreed to call an end to the game.
Despite bowling Rosedale-Kilmany out for 85, Sale had to fight to get in front. Sale lost 7-10, only finishing three runs ahead, keeping the door open for the Warriors to force a reverse outright.
Sale did recover in the second innings, restricting the Warriors before, after another early innings scare, comfortably batting to the end of the game.
The teams have split their meetings this season.
In round seven, an unbeaten half-century from Ian Wrigglesworth guided Sale to victory at home.
In the final round at Bundalaguah, Sale was bowled out for just 50 as the
Bulls secured a home semi-final. Sale did improve in the second innings, scoring 200.
Bundalaguah, the SMCA’s most successful club, will by vying for a 16th first grade premiership.
Sale’s first appearance in the first grade grand final since 2003. It will be playing for a ninth premiership and first since winning a fourth successive title in 1991.
The clubs have only met in one SMCA first grade grand final, in 1979, which Sale won.
They met in the last Sale Cricket Association grand final in 1950, when Bundalaguah was awarded the premiership on a forfeit.
It came during the era when there was no play on Sundays under any circumstances, but did on occasions play on public holidays.
After the semi-finals, Bundalaguah knocked back a suggestion from Sale to begin the final on Eight Hour Day, now known as Labour Day.
The first Saturday scheduled for play was completely washed out.
On the second and third Saturdays, Bundalaguah was dismissed for 66 before Sale, batting a man short, replied with 99.
Bundalaguah was 4-61 in its second innings at the end of the third Saturday.
The following weekend was Easter. Sale had told the association months earlier it would not play that weekend.
There had not been cricket scheduled for the Easter weekend in previous years. Despite this, play was scheduled for Easter Saturday and the Sale team, which was undefeated that season, did not show up to play with the match awarded to Bundalaguah.
Saturday and Sunday
Firsts: Bundalaguah v Sale at Cameron Sporting Complex, Maffra, 12.15pm.
Seconds: Wurruk v Bundalaguah at College turf, 12.30pm.
Thirds: Bundalaguah v Sale at Cameroon Sporting Complex (Campbell St astro), 12.30pm.
Fourths: Boisdale-Briagolong v Bundalaguah at College astro, 12.30pm (Saturday).