Joondalup's Simon Branston // John & Carmen Sherry
Joondalup and Subiaco Floreat will face off in the Alcohol.Think Again Premier Cricket Grand Final at the WACA Ground, after winning their respective Preliminary Final clashes over the weekend.
Fourth will play fifth in the final, after a thrilling pair of fixtures saw the minor premiers Claremont-Nedlands and second-placed Fremantle exit the competition in stunning fashion.
Andrew Holder again led his Subi side with the ball, passing 50 wickets for the season, while James Boyland was critical with a five-wicket haul to defeat the Port Boys.
The win sees Joondalup into their third final in five seasons, while Subiaco Floreat will play their third final in 10 years.
Joondalup 143 & 9-172 (Anderson 56no, Morgan 22, Chellew 3-36) defeated Fremantle 112 (Wood 42, Davenport 25, Boyland 5-54), Stevens Reserve
Joondalup has reached their third A-Grade final in five years after a tight 31-run victory over Fremantle at Stevens Reserve. Garrick Morgan’s half century was pivotal on a difficult opening day, with 15 runs falling on Saturday.
Batting first, the Centurions struggled for consistent partnerships with Jyhe Richardson dominating early with ball in hand. Morgan was patient with 68 from 117 balls as he pushed his side towards a competitive total. Late order runs from Mitch Dixon and Michael Swart saw the Joondalup side reach 143 all out. Fremantle looked in early trouble at 5-58, before skipper Chris Wood steadied the ship with a gallant 42.
Resuming on Sunday five wickets down, the Port Boys continued to lose wickets and despite a 23-run last wicket stand, Fremantle were bowled out for 112. James Boyland used all of his experience to capture five wickets in an outstanding display, while Simon Branston continued his good form taking three wickets. Joondalup finished 9-172 in the second innings ensuring no outright win.
Claremont-Nedlands 240 (Hobson 115, Turkich 34, Blake 4-53) defeated by Subiaco Floreat 7-241 (Murphy 47, Lilly 46, Turkich 2-42), Cresswell Park
Subiaco Floreat has held on to capture one of the club’s greatest victories, defeating Claremont-Nedlands by three wickets in a tense final at Cresswell Park.
Winning the toss and bowling, the visitors made an early inroad dismissing Jake Whiteaker for a duck, before Nick Hobson and Travis Birt settled in. Hobson was the star on Saturday, batting with maturity to carry the innings in trying conditions, as the left-hander hit a courageous 115. Dan Turkich was impressive with 34, as the Tigers went to stumps at 6-222. Andrew Holder and Ash Blake wreaked havoc in the morning, to dismiss the Tigers for 240, with the both bowlers taking four wickets each.
The Subi chase started strongly putting on 69 for the first wicket. Alex Malcolm (32) and AJ Murphy (47) set a strong platform, before Callum How (36) and Aaron Lilly steered the Subi side towards an unlikely victory. Gerry Fatorous put the finishing touched on the win with 22, with the visitors defying the odds to reach the grand final. The Tigers, despite losing just one game for the year, exit the competition for another season.-Elliot Raiter