Battle to be the best

David Braithwaite

THIS weekend’s Sale-Maffra Cricket Association grand final will have the most successful club taking on one seeking its first premiership in the top grade.

Bundalaguah will play Boisdale-Briagolong at Stephenson Park, Sale, Saturady and Sunday.

This weekend will be Boisdale-Briagolong’s first grand final appearance since 2014, but the club is yet to taste the ultimate success.

Bundalaguah has won an SMCA-leading 16 first grade premierships.

The Bulls were the last team to defeat the Saints. Since that match before the Christmas break, the Saints have won their past six matches.

The Saints had two wins over the first eight rounds before Christmas, but have been undefeated since the break and only went into the top four after their final round victory.

The Saints proved they weren’t making up the numbers in the semi-finals, out-playing minor premier Collegians last weekend.

After attracting strong recruits, the Bulls have been in the top four all season, and have claimed the one-day cup and made the twenty20 final.

One of those recruits, Cloete Buitendag, has scored 460 runs this season at an average of 28.75, and has been a consistent wicket-taker, claiming 37.

Fellow top order batsman Jason Langshaw has scored 438 at 36.5. Langshaw is in good form, having scored 82 and 73 in his past two innings.

Also part of Bundalaguah’s strong bowling attack has been Lachie Floyd (24 wickets), Jake Wynd (23) and Gayashan Munsinghe (21).

Boisdale-Briagolong has been led by captain Toby Leeds, who leads the first grade run-scorers, with 615 at 47.31.

Leeds scored 41 in the semi-final against Collegians.

Jordan Price has scored 396 runs, while Jack Wrigglesworth has scored 360 and taken 24 wickets at 17.42.

Bundalaguah won both matches against Boisdale-Briagolong this season.

In the tight two-day round four clash, Leeds scored 81 in the Saints’ 226, with Buitendag taking three wickets for the Bulls, which made 9-230 in reply.

Leeds was again among the runs in round eight at Bundalaguah, scoring 59 as the Saints made 9-193. Floyd took three wickets for the Bulls, who then made 4-196, with Langshaw leading with way, scoring 81.

First grade, Saturday and Sunday, noon: Bundalaguah v Boisdale-Briagolong at Stephenson Park, Sale.

Second grade, Saturday and Sunday, 12.30pm: Heyfield v Maffra at Catholic College Sale Oval.

Third grade, Saturday, noon: Longford v Sale at Sale Oval.

Fourth grade, Saturday, noon: Bundalaguah v Collegians at George Wilson Memorial Oval (Stephenson Park), Sale.

Fifth grade, Saturday, noon: Rosedale-Kilmany v Heyfield at CCS astro ground.