Wins to the Cowaramup Bulls’ A Grade side in the weekend’s semi and preliminary finals will see them play their first A Grade grand final since 2004.
Saturday saw the Bulls travelling to Barnard Turf in an elimination final against Busselton side St Mary’s, the Bulls lost the toss and were put in to the field by their hosts.
Cowaramup’s opening bowlers proved tough to get away as Adrian Woodward (1/29) and Kaween De Silva (2/29) restricted the opposition to 1/26 off the first ten overs.
Suffocating middle overs bowling from Nick Healy (6 overs 1/30) and Ben Shepherd (9 overs 0/20) had Cowaramup in control, however a measured partnership between the Saints’ Danny Hatton (33) and Adam Holt (35) proved threatening after opener Jono Lloyd fell for 38.
Fraser Oates’ brilliant season continued as he claimed 2/16 off 8, and with two late wickets to Buddhika Sanjeewa the hosts were bowled out for 175.
The Bulls’ chase got off to a rapid start as Shane Herbst found the boundary early, including a monster second over 6, before he was removed at 1/24.
James Stanistreet (21) proved solid as he added 30 for the second wicket alongside Shepherd, however it was De Silva who led the way for the Bulls with a restrained 63, taking the Bulls to 6/152 at his dismissal, before Mike Hibberd (19) and Kye Barrow (11 not out) guided the Bulls to a 3 wicket win with 25 balls to spare.
With Dunsborough going down to league leaders YOBS on Saturday, Sunday saw them play hosts to the Bulls for the second spot in the decider.
Cowaramup couldn’t have hoped for a better start as the much improved Woodward (4/15 off 7.3) and De Silva (2/16 off 10) reduced Dunsborough to a startling 4/8.
Further tight bowling from Sanjeewa (1/27 off 9) and Shepherd (0/21 off 10) kept the pressure firmly on the hosts, however the experience of Phil Watts (28) and Shane Edwards (22) dug their side out of a hole, while Mathew Jamieson (18) and Josh Reagan (16) also proved vital.
Oates claimed 3/21 off his 8 overs as Dunsborough were bowled out for a sub par 129, a competitive total given their top order stutter.
Dunsborough struck early to have the top order gone early, and as the scoreline slumped to 4/50 the game was in the balance, with the ‘borough up and about after the prized scalp of de Silva.
Sam Berridge (31) and Oates (20) provided the resistance the Bulls needed before the latter fell at 5/86, the Bulls still requiring 44 off the last 9 overs.
After a lean run with the bat, Sanjeewa upped the run rate with a significant run a ball 19, his dismissal took the score to 6/112, needing 18 off 5 overs.
Berridge ultimately fell with 2 runs required, before Kye Barrow hit the winning runs for a second consecutive day to hand the Bulls victory with 3 wickets and 7 balls remaining, sparking long awaited celebrations.
The Grand Final will be hosted by YOBS at Busselton’s Bovell park, with the match to commence at 11:30am.