SMCA junior semis this weekend

David Braithwaite

THE Sale-Maffra cricket junior semi-finals will be played this weekend.

The matches will be played Saturday and Sunday morning, with the grand finals on Labour Day, March 8.

IN the under 16s, Collegians will host Stratford and Bundalaguah will take on Maffra.

Only defeated once this season, Collegians finished the home-and-away season on top of the ladder, with contributions across the team. College does have a strong bowling attack, with Max Stobie taking 11 wickets and Maddix Malone 10.

St rat ford needed to defeat Boisdale-Briagolong at the weekend to make the finals on percentage ahead of Longford, which lost to Bundalaguah.

Thomas Wrigglesworth has led the Redbacks with the bat, scoring 275 runs at an average of 137.5. Adam Russell has scored 151 runs and taken 10, while Jacob Van Zelst has also claimed 10 wickets each.

The weekend’s semi-final will be Bundalaguah’s first two-day game this season, after rain and a lockdown reduced their past two matches to one-dayers.

The Bulls enter the finals in second place, with their round nine victory over Maffra separating the sides on the ladder.

Bayden Dowsett and Lachlan Rowley have both taken 10 wickets for Bulls the season, with Dowsett also scoring 142 runs, while Hamish Anderson has scored 144.

Maffra, buoyed after defeating top side Collegians at the weekend, has been led by Will Osborn, who has taken 11 wickets, and Ben Harrington, who has scored 182 runs.

WITH Stratford to host Longford in the under 14s, Bundalaguah will look to continue its undefeated season when it meets Rosedale-Kilmany at home.

Leading the way with the bat for the Bulls has been Hayden Wrigglesworth, who has scored 172 runs, with only one dismissal from six innings. Teammate Lara Dowsett has taken 10 wickets.

For RK, Ashan Keppititpola has scored 158 runs, while Aidyn Moss and Jake Zappulla-Jaensch have claimed eight wickets each.

Finishing the home-and-away season only two points behind Bundalaguah, Stratford’s only loss has been to Longford, the Redbacks’ semi-final opponent.

Harry Tatterson has stood out for Stratford this season, compiling 218 runs, while Blake Aurisch has taken eight wickets. The Lizards’ best with the bat have been Jimmy Love and Joe Hare, with 126 and 122 runs respectively.

WITH two rounds to play in the senior grades, Sale is the only side which can push its way into the final four.

The Swans are eight points adrift of Bundalaguah and Boisdale-Briagolong, who are in third and fourth places respectively.

With six points for a victory, Sale must defeat the Bulls tomorrow or else all places in the semi-finals will be confirmed. If the Swans prevail, they will then have to overcome undefeated ladder leader Stratford.

Twenty-four points behind Stratford, second-placed Collegians is 10 ahead of Bundalaguah and Boisdale-Briagolong, and may need to win one of their remaining matches against the Redbacks and Saints to finish in the top two.

TOP spot in the thirds is still up for grabs.

Heyfield is only four points ahead of Nambrok, with the pair to meet on Saturday. As well as move it to the top of the ladder, victory would also ensure Nambrok a home semi-final.

Third-placed Maffra could go as high as second if it defeats RK and Heyfield.

Bundalaguah occupies fourth spot, six points and a healthy net run rate margin to Longford.

ONE spot in the fourth grade finals remains in doubt.

Boisdale-Briagolong is in fourth place, just ahead of RK on net run rate.

The Saints will play second-placed Collegians on Saturday, while the Warriors will be favoured to defeat bottom side Stradbroke. The following Saturday, the Saints have a winnable match against Wurruk, while the Warriors will play ladder leader Stratford.

The Redbacks are six points ahead of Collegians and the Bundalaguah Yaks, with a tight race for home semi-finals.