By Tyler Lewis
Kooweerup has booked its ticket to the A Grade big dance in a week’s time after edging out Cardinia in a nail-biter.
The Dees won the toss and were going along swimmingly at 0/48, before a succession of unfulfilled starts halted the side from posting at massive score at Gunton Reserve.
Champion opener Paul Bright led from the front with 42 from 61 rocks for the Demons, as they posted 8/145 from 40 overs.
Despite the steady wickets for the Demons, the Bulls certainly tested the visitors.
Cardiia was 1/2, 3/32 and then 6/61, but still got within just lusty one stroke of victory.
Brad Reiner was the key at the top of the order for the Bulls, with 42.
But it was tail-ender Brady Boswell who raised the heart-rates of the Demons, with a blistering 35 not out from just 26 balls.
Boswell laced four balls to the boundary, in what was nearly a heroic performance.
The exciting finish with the bat, pairs nicely with Boswell’s 3/23 off eight in the first innings.
The Bulls fell to 9/141 in the end, just four runs shy of victory as the higher-ranked side.
Scott Clark (2/15 off eight) and Mahie Bodahandi (3/13 off eight) were the pick of the bowlers, restricted the Bulls, while also taking important poles.
While Kooweerup will enjoy the week off heading into the grand final, Cardinia will take on Tooradin, who defeated Clyde in the most earnest of style.
The Gulls etched out 5/201 from its 40 overs, with six of the top seven batters reaching 15 or more.
David Freeman was the pick of the bats, adding 55 not out (59) to the 72 not out he also crunched against Clyde in the opening round of the summer.
Despite only scoring 16 of the aforementioned 55 in boundaries, Freeman certainly found the gaps without trepidation, going at almost a run-a-ball.
The Cougars got off to a solid start in pursuit of the hefty target, being 0/53, then 1/72.
But it was an almighty collapse that crushed its cause for victory.
A score of 1/72 rapidly fell to 8/82, as Bailey Lownds ironic darts (5/18) ripped through the Cougars middle and top order.
Lownds would no doubt have been stressing on the result of the first XI, as it is just his second game for the summer in the A Grade competition since the round-two clash with Clyde.
The Cougars were ultimately dismissed for 136 in the 33rd over.
The defeat means curtains on Clyde’s season, while the win for the Gulls sets up a Tooradin v Cardinia preliminary final.
SEMI FINAL: Cardinia def by Kooweerup
ELIMINATION FINAL: Tooradin def Clyde
PRELIMINARY FINAL: Cardinia v Tooradin
GRAND FINAL: Kooweerup v winner of PF