Passions were high on pitches all over the region last weekend as young cricketers fought tooth and nail to seal a spot in this week’s Mount Gambier and District Cricket Association junior finals. Semi-finals for the Under 17’s, 14’s and 12’s grades were all played across four days of action with the victors rewarded with a shot at some silverware.
The Under 17 O’Donohue Shield will go on the line tonight with Millicent squaring up against East Gambier. Millicent holds all the aces after a 42-run victory over the Bulldogs in the final round of the season before the former overcame South Gambier on Friday night at Malseed Park.
Batting first Millicent posted a solid 7/182 thanks to a Corey Baker half century. The target proved too much for the Demons as they were restricted to 142 after Ellis Cushion’s 3/4. East eased past West Gambier over at Frew Park to seal a grand final berth. Despite Alex Hill carrying his bat to 49, the Roos only managed 113 after Riley Flamank and James Sullivan were dangerous with the ball.
On day two, a strong top order performance ensured the Bulldogs won with four wickets and eight overs to spare. With a formidable win-loss record over recent summers, Millicent enters the decider at Frew Park on the front foot. Millicent will also play for the Under 14 Hall Trophy, but face a confident South side at Malseed Park on Saturday.
The Demons are striving for back-to-back titles and easily accounted for Penola in the semi-final. Elwood Geary’s four-wicket haul knocked over the Eagles for just 58, a total comfortably within South’s reach. Millicent endured a much bumpier ride to the grand final after it just edged out East/North Gambier by nine runs.
Defending 7/111, the combined Bulldogs and Tigers side brought the game down to the final over, but a run out ensured Millicent held on. Millicent and Mil Lel Green have been the shining lights in the Under 12’s this season and will duke it out for the Sims Shield at Steeline Park tonight after overcoming North and East respectively in the semis.
All three finals are two-day affairs with Under 17 and 12 starting at 4.30 tonight, while Under 14’s gets under way from 8.30am on Saturday.