St Andrews outlasts Combine to win title | Grampians Cricket Association

Minor premiers Swifts-Great Western has been outclassed by St Andrews in the best of three B Grade grand final series at the weekend.

Combine went into the series as the best team in the Grampians Cricket Association second division, losing just two games for the year but St Andrews saved its best cricket til the finals, winning the first two matches meaning a third was not required.

Saturday’s opening game at Great Western Recreation Reserve saw Swifts-Great Western send St Andrews in to bat first.

A 91-run stand between Tom Mills and Adam Haslett set St Andrews up for a big total with some strong batting in the middle order.

Mills was run out for 56 while Haslett made 84, as St Andrews reached 6-196 from its 40 overs.

Swifts-Great Western’s run chase started slowly, as the team looked to play within itself at the crease.

The runs did not flow as quickly as needed with Combine struggling to get anywhere near the target despite having wickets in hand.

After 40 overs, the minor premiers reached 4-98 to give St Andrews the advantage going into Sunday’s second game.

Craig Marrow top-scored for Combine with 40 not out.

The second game was played at Stawell’s North Park with St Andrews winning the toss on Sunday and remained with the winning formula from the previous day and batted first.

It was another strong batting performance from the team with the Combine bowlers struggling again to minimise the runs.

St Andrews got to 28 before losing its first wicket with Ben Boatman falling to Will Clough.

Riley Taylor was next to fall, out for three runs to bring Haslett to the crease.

Another significant partnership between Mills and Haslett saw the total increase to 88 before Mills was dismissed for 43 by Gary Ranton.

James Laidlaw smashed 35 runs late in the innings to get St Andrews to 6-166 from 40 overs to put pressure on the Combine batsmen.

Combine’s run chase again started slowly with runs hard to score off the St Andrews opening bowlers.

Wickets fell regularly throughout the innings, making it hard for batsmen to settle and build any significant partnerships.

The Combine team again came up short, bowled out for 116 in less than 35 overs.

Liam Arnott was the best of the bowlers for St Andrews, finishing with 4-33 from his eight overs.

The win meant the third game was no needed on Monday with St Andrews claiming the B Grade title 2-0.

The team completely outclassed Swifts-Great Western, with the team unable to match it with the bat or ball.