EAST Belmont has the chance to take home two GCA Division 1 flags this Saturday, with its two turf sides qualifying for the season’s ultimate games against North Geelong and South Barwon, respectively.
In Division 1 1sts, East Belmont won the toss against Lara at Bisinella Oval and elected to bat. Sean O’Neill continued his excellent form, opening the innings and smashing his fifth century of the season. He had strong support from Andrew Barrs (76) and fellow opener Shane McNamara, and East Belmont finished at 8/299 off their 50 overs. Danny Hughes was the best of the bowlers for Lara with 3/49.
Needing 300 to secure their spot in the grand final, Lara’s top three – Vishesh Malhotra and Andy Hughes (both 65) and Brad McMaster (31) – all got good starts but were unable to keep going, and the hosts were eventually dismissed for 207 in the 41st over. East Belmont’s Chris Williams took four wickets and Matthew Linaker took three.
In the other 1sts semi-final, South Barwon fell an agonising two runs short of chasing down 195 for victory against North Geelong, losing their last wicket with more than three overs to spare.
The Division 1 2nds semi-final at Winter Reserve was also characterised by a pivotal East Belmont century at the top of the order, this time against North Geelong. James McMahon scored 106 alongside 41 from skipper James Diery and East Belmont closed their innings at 5/213. North Geelong started badly and lost three wickets for only five runs and only had three batters reach double figures, Leighton McCann the best of these with 40, as they were bundled out for 123. David Lineen bowled a short but devastating spell, picking up 3/3 off only two overs.
In Division 2, Bell Post Hill restricted Torquay to 8/161 at Myers Reserve despite half-centuries from Tom Henderson (59) and Thomas Dunn (51), Glen Talarico taking four wickets.In response, Bell Post Hill reached their target with five overs to spare and the loss of three wickets, Rhys Burke top scoring with 76.
They will face Geelong City, who triumphed in their semi-final against Marshall at South Barwon Reserve. Marshall won the toss and batted and posted a respectable 6/206, with opener Corey Walter’s 57 the top score, but Geelong City kept wickets in hand – openers Cody Brogden and Thomas Treble both scored 70s – and the runs coming throughout their innings, and reached the target with three balls to spare.
The Division 2 2nds semi-finals saw St Peters comfortably account for Bell Park; and Geelong City roll Bell Post Hill for 107 and chase down the total with 12 overs in hand.