A BIG knock from marquee man Matt Chasemore and some late-order heroics from injured opener Stu Plunkett on Sunday booked Cranbourne a date with Springvale South in the DDCA Turf 1 grand final.
A disciplined bowling effort held Berwick to 9-213 of its 90 overs, star Steve Spoljaric nabbing 3-55 off 25 and left-arm seamer Cam Kelly 3-51 off 21.
Forced to rejig the batting line-up with regular opener Plunkett struggling with back soreness, the Eagles put on 36 for the first wicket with makeshift opener Brandon Tyzzer (23) and Brayden Roscoe (a patient 13 off 96) getting them away well.
Jake Harrington’s departure for a duck had them on the back foot, losing 2-0 with the score at 36.
But the scene was set for Chasemore, who batted superbly for 73 off 155 balls, including seven boundaries.
He first partnered with Spoljaric (30) in a 60-run stand, and then Lucas Ligt (20) to put on 51, but when he fell the Eagles still needed 39.
It was left to the tattooed beast Plunkett to bring them home, a more vital unbeaten 31 you won’t see.
New dad Jordie Cleland (13) and Cam Dinger (eight not out) helped him along, but Plunkett cracked the winning runs with a lovely on-drive at 5.54pm.
Coach Brett Lewis said his charges were up for the challenge against the competition’s benchmark, Springvale South, at Keysborough.
“We’re excited, we can’t wait, we’re looking forward to the challenge,” an energised Lewis told Leader.
“They have been the benchmark of our competition for a long time, with guys like Michael Vandort and obviously the competition’s most successful and highest run scorer Craig Slocombe.
“I’ve been saying to the boys, want the challenge, accept the challenge, thrive on it.
“The boys are playing for each other and they did so well, the young blokes on the weekend.
“Selfless cricket like that will win the game for us.”
Fourth-placed Turf 7 made a mockery of the standings, putting top side Mordialloc to the sword thanks to a brilliant opening bowling and fielding performance that reduced the Bloodhounds to 5-9 and then 6-17, before they eventually scratched out 69.
Opener Luke “Avatar’’ Bee-Hugo was the pick of the bowlers with 3-31, while there were two key run-outs in the innings.
In reply, the Eagles made it hard work early, reduced to 2-9 and then 4-38, but captain Ryan Jones and young buck Marcus “Hollywood’’ Coe steadied the ship and then brought the Eagles home.
Jones brought up the win with an emphatic six, one of two maximums to go with three boundaries, before he was dismissed for 62 with six overs to go on day one.
Coe picked up where he left off the next day, playing with composure beyond his tender years.
And his patience was rewarded with a show from the other end when Bee-Hugo came to the crease, slamming three big bombs in his 39, the pair putting on 42, to which he contributed two. It didn’t matter though, the youngster reaching his maiden senior 50, before being last man out with the score at 216.
Mordi’s captain opted to have a crack, but, chasing quick runs, they were reduced to 5/53 at tea, before conceding the game.
Cranbourne will play Berwick Springs at Lyndale this weekend.
A captain’s knock from Brad Nicol rescued a seemingly disastrous run chase and guided the One Dayers into the grand final.
Earlier, after sending Narre South in, Cranbourne fought back well after the Lions had cruised to 1-88, with first and second-change bowlers Chris Piastrino (4-25) and Hlexiell Ruaporo (4-19) running riot as Narre South were rolled for 132.
In response, the Eagles’ top-order capitulated, with the top three all failing to trouble the scorers as they fell to 5-35. Enter Nicol, as the skipper produced a match winning 56 not out, steadying the ship with Ruaporo (26) before combining with the tail to complete the victory.
Nerves were jangling when Cranny fell to 9-125, just eight shy of their target but the Eagles got over the line for a memorable semi-final triumph.
It came down to the final over for the Under 17-1’s in their semi-final against Endeavour Hills but a dramatic tie saw Hills progress by virtue of finishing higher on the ladder.
Cranbourne asked the home team to bat first and struggled to contain skipper Lachlan De Zilwa (70) as he anchored a total of 150 all out. Taylor Hanigan was excellent with the ball, snaring 4-31 from his 10 overs while Eagles captain Jesse Quigley (2-14) and Sahin Ayres chipped in with a pair of scalps each.
The chase got off to a shaky start, with Cranny stumbling to 3-39 before keeper Michael Mandile arrived at the wicket, steadying the ship to claw the visitors within 41 of victory before departing for 56.
Quigley (22) threatened to drag the Eagles over the line before he too was dismissed.
Three wickets fell in a frantic final over in which Cranbourne required eight for victory and with four to win from two balls, the Eagles fell agonisingly short, with the match ending a draw; both teams level on 150 as Endeavour Hills progressed in a heartbreaking defeat for Cranny.
A fantastic all-round team performance saw the Under 15-3’s cruise into a grand final after posting an eight-wicket victory over Beaconsfield.
The task looked daunting for the Eagles as Beacy progressed to 4-106 before a gutsy fightback saw Cranny dismiss the visitors for 139. Ryan Disher was the pick of the bunch, bagging 3-19, ably supported by Boe Osborne who finished with 2/24.
Runs on the board had Beacy favourites when Cranbourne began their innings but a solid
opening stand from Ramanjit Singh (37) and Daud Ibrahim (26) built the platform for Yoan de Silva (36 not out) and Danishvir Singh (27 not out) to complete the job, with Cranny moving into the big dance with eight overs to spare.
It was disappointing weekend for the Under 13-1’s, outplayed on both days by Berwick Springs as they bowed out in a heavy defeat.
After electing to bat first, Berwick Springs were dominant, posting an imposing 4/204 from its 40 overs as only Rohan Rehal, Jasmeet Singh and Kai Davies made breakthroughs.
The target was always going to be difficult to run down for the Eagles and they never mounted a sustained challenge, bowled out for 84 by division’s top side in 2015-16.