There were plenty of tense moments, but the first XI were just good enough to beat Blackburn North United and book a spot in the B Synthetic grand final.
1st XI Semi-Final: North Alphington 116-6 (O Price 27*, C Obst 27, D Sonnberg 23, F Clancy 19*) def Blackburn North United 104 (O Price 3-21, N Obst 2-11, F Clancy 2-17, L Waters 2-18, N Devidas 1-23) by 12 runs at Pitcher Park.
Some critical late runs and a disciplined bowling effort was enough for North Alphington’s first XI to edge out Blackburn North United in a tight contest and book a spot in a third consecutive grand final.
After winning the toss and batting, North Alphington made a slow but steady start, with Carl Obst and Dean Sonnberg providing a solid platform against some tight bowling. From 42-2 at the halfway mark of the innings, Blackburn North were able to get on top in the next few overs, with a series of wickets leaving North Alphington in a slightly precarious position at 56-5. The final score was set up by an excellent innings from Ollie Price, who first helped to settle the innings and then began to expand in a 40-run seventh wicket stand with the in-form Finnian Clancy which dragged the score to a below-par but defendable 116.
The bowling effort started well, with Luke Waters picking up two crucial early wickets and the game was in the balance at drinks with the score at 30-2. Blackburn North were able to boost the run rate after the break, but a pair of wickets to Finnian Clancy kept North Alphington in a strong position, and Ollie Price’s removal of the set batter with 33 runs required firmly put the hosts on top ahead of the final overs. Price and Nick Obst were able to keep things tight enough in the last five overs, with the final wicket falling off the penultimate ball of the match and sealing a hard-fought victory.
The result sets up a tantalising rematch with Burwood, North Alphington’s grand final opponents from last season. Another win in a close game should provide plenty of confidence going into what is sure to be a tough contest at Ramsden St Oval.