Glory on the line

GAME ON: East Gambier's Alex Hentschke will look to lead the Bulldogs into the grand final, where they would then meet a strong Tigers outfit. Pictures: FILE

James Murphy

GLORY will be on the line when the Mount Gambier and District Cricket Association Big Bash competition comes to a close at Frew Park this Sunday.

One team has already locked its place in the grand final, with top-placed North Sportsman’s progressing straight into the decider.

Prior to the big dance, East Gambier and Penola will lock horns in the semi final, with the victor to back it up on the same day against the Tigers.

Unlike its Barber Shield season, Penola has notched up a couple of wins in the Big Bash.

The second of those came last week in the final minor round and ultimately ensured the Eagles would make finals.

It came down to percentage in the end, with the bottom four teams all level on two wins.

Penola met the Bulldogs back in Round 2 of the short-format competition and after a good battle won the match by 10 runs.

Tom Moyle-Read was the leading batsmen with 59-not-out, carrying the Eagles to their total of 95.

George Kidman was the only other double-figure scorer with 12 runs, but last week Jack Mullan (58-not-out) and James Alexander (34-not-out) proved to be match winners.

The Eagles did not drop a wicket as they chased down Mil Lel’s target of 94 runs.

East had a larger return in their last outing, with a 160-run effort too much for West Gambier to handle.

Jake Wight and Alex Hentschke were in good form with 51 and 43 runs respectively.

Throw in the likes of Emerson Marks and Dion Stratford – who are not shy with the bat – and the Bulldogs have plenty of depth.

With the ball Joshua Doyle is in red-hot form for Penola, coming off a four-wicket haul.

Mullan also had a couple last round, while Joshua Smith and Kidman were standouts in the last meeting with the Bulldogs.

East also has a diverse bowling attack, with Hentschke, Marks and Marc Roberts just the tip of the iceberg.

The semi final promises to entertain, while the following grand final will be an intriguing contest.

Should East win it will take confidence from its win over North Sportsman’s in Round 4.

That was the only loss dealt to the Tigers this season and it was a thriller.

The Bulldogs batted first and set a target of 113.

North was hot on their heels but fell a single run short at the end of the 20 overs.

Elliott Fisher will be one to watch with bat and ball and he has captained the Tigers’ Big Bash side well.

He leads by example, while Nick McInerney has also been a solid all-rounder.

Isaac Mulraney, Tim Young and Declan Kenny have been other main culprits with the ball.

Penola also had a good clash with North, but fell short by nine runs in their chase.

Either way the excitement levels are high and it should be a quality day of Twenty20 cricket.

The semi-final is set for a 1pm start, with the grand final to follow at 4.30pm.