The Traralgon and District Cricket Association finals started with a bang on Saturday, as day one belonged to Churchill captain John Keighran.
Keighran punished the CATS bowlers, while Gormandale’s Kade Joske upstaged his more fancied teammates.
A grade Gormandale v Glengarry
The Tigers, playing in their eighth consecutive semi-final, had no hesitation batting first on what looked like a picture perfect Stoddart Oval.
After a cautious start, first to go was Grantley Switzer for 5 with the score at 20.
Joske and Kent Hammond were brilliant as they piled on 90 for the second wicket before Hammond was out for 46.
With Kade Joske batting well, Burgiel stepped it up a notch as he hit two sixes before he was bowled for 34 with the score at 170 for 3.
A mini collapse then followed, as the Tigers lost four wickets for three runs to be 6/173.
Joske batted well for his match high of 80.
The Tigers’ tails were fantastic as they added another 105 runs.
Chris Lehner was superb with 40*, Rob Darby batted well for 23, while Jason Membrey (12) Shaun Barbour (17) and Adam Brady 12* all contributed to a total of 278 for 9.
Glengarry’s bowlers stuck to their task with Steve Wright sending down 27 overs for 1/55.
Cameron Garham in his first A grade final at 15 years old, bowled 9 overs for 17.
Frank Marks took 2/30.
Ben Julin, while conceding 100 runs of his 23 overs, ended up with five wickets.
Glengarry started its run chase on Sunday in disastrous fashion when Callum Coker was caught for 0 by Hammond.
When Dave Little was judged leg before wicket for six, Glengarry was reeling at 2/13.
Hayden Ross-Schultz and Sam Marks put on 36 before Ross-Schultz was out for a good 21.
Ben Marks lifted the tempo with 22 but when he went out, Glengarry crumbled.
Sam Marks opened the batting and was last man out in the 60th over for a top score of 51.
In an incredible performance, Shaun Barbour once again showed his class in the finals by taking 5/13 off 12.3 overs.
Kent Hammond and Adam Brady took two wickets each as the Tigers won by 153 runs booking a spot in their sixth grand final in a row.
CATS v Churchill
CATS won the toss and surprisingly sent Churchill into bat.
The move paid of early, as Williams was bowled by Ryan Foulkes for 2.
Ben Kearns was solid before he went for 29, caught and bowled.
In an incredible performance, Cobras captain John Keighran was continually reaching the tennis courts on the full.
He completely dominated the attack to such a degree that in the last over before tea, he was dismissed for 116, with Churchill 4/196 of 36 overs.
After tea CATS clawed their way back with Tim Dye making 27 as Churchill were all out for 247 in the 66 over.
Dylan Rash and Aaron McDonald shared 3 wickets each, while Davin Charleston took 2.
With 14 overs to bat, CATS started its run chase very well before losing Michael Bloomfield for 13 with the score at 33.
Resuming Sunday morning CATS, in an exciting two hours, made the 200 runs required in scintillating fashion.
Jack Moore was brilliant with 53.
Rory Hare showed great form with a very good 66 not out but it was Jack Marshall who stole the day with a magnificent 73 off 38 balls to completely dominate the Churchill bowling.
Stan Grazotis with 37 not out continued his great form as CATS marched into their first A grade grand final since 1992.
CATS finished at 4/248.
Toongabbie 8/125 defeated Ex Students 124; Churchill 154 lt Centrals 234.
Toongabbie 8/116 lt Centrals; Ex-Students 129 lt Churchill 8/143 .