GCA - All the talk about Swifts/Great Western forcing an outright win and challenging for the number one ranking in the Grampians Cricket Association A grade competition went out the door on Saturday afternoon when Aradale stepped up to the plate and delivered.
Beginning day two all indications were that Aradale was in trouble, with the Combine holding all the cards, but to their credit the Aradale batsmen turned it around and suddenly put plenty of spark into this week's semi final clash.
Swifts/Great Western didn't have a big first innings score on the board (143), but it did have Aradale reeling at 3/11 when play resumed on day two.
Things didn't improve any for the home side when one of the not out batsmen Mitch Cronin (6) was caught behind early and Aradale was suddenly 4/28.
Travis Horvatek was joined at the crease by Matt Stasse and these two set about re-building the Aradale innings.
When Stasse fell for 29 runs with the score at 5/74, Aradale was back in the game.
Horvatek was then joined by all-rounder Jon Towsend and suddenly Aradale was in complete control. Horvatek took his score to 53 before he was bowled by Jackson Dark not before his team was 6/123 and closing in on a first innings victory.
Any hopes the Combine had of cleaning up the remainder of the Aradale tail was shot when Townsend and young paceman John Butler (25) continued the run spree.
Townsend was the backbone of the win, with his innings of 71 runs which included seven fours. When he was bowled by Tom Eckel, Aradale had the result wrapped up to be 9/216 before finally being dismissed for a winning total of 234 runs.
Top team Tatyoon had all the answers with the bat in its clash with fellow finals' contender Buangor.
Chasing the Buangor first innings score of 158, Tatyoon had lost two early wickets before the close of play last week.
Despite Tatyoon building to be 5/114, Buangor was still in with a chance during the middle stages of day two, before the McDougall brothers Andy and Tim took control.
These two secured the result for Tatyoon with Andy finishing on 61 runs and Tim scoring 70 to see the Taytoon score reach 8/222.
Harry Ganley was the best of the Buangor bowlers with his 4/63.
These two teams will also clash again in this weekend's semi final.
Youth Club ended its season the way it started, with another below average performance and the team now appear headed for B grade next season.
Chasing Pomonal's first innings score of 207 Youth Club was never a chance.
At 3/3 with both openers failing to trouble the scorers, Youth Club was in big trouble.
Youngster Ethan Marrow (25) attempted to steer the Clubbers out of trouble, while Jamie Soylom (76) did put a little respect into the side's innings of 142 runs.
A total of five Youth Club batman failed to score.
Lee Oliver (3/30) and Matt Grinham (3/33) were the best of the dominant Pomonal bowlers.
Chalambar will take on Willaura in this weekend's B grade semi final, while Navarre will face Halls Gap in the other match.
In C grade Aradale finished top of the table and will now take on Navarre, while Rhymney/Moyston and Buangor will go head-to-head.