Bridgetown secure finals spot after win over Manjimup in preliminary final match
The preliminary final of the Warren Blackwood Cricket Association took place at Collier Street turf on Sunday with Bridgetown finding some late season form to defeat Manjimup to earn the right to take on Forestry in the grand final this Saturday.
Bridgetown won the toss and elected to bowl, and put immediate pressure on the Manjimup top order with some well directed bowling and tight fielding.
The pressure put the home team in trouble early on with Manjimup sitting at 2-8 after seven overs.
Keenan Wilson (19) tried to steady the ship, but the introduction of Laurence Grant into the bowling attack swung the momentum back in Bridgetown’s favour, taking three more wickets for 14 runs from four overs to have Manjimup’s innings in tatters at 6-54.
The Manjimup tail through Jonathan Millar (24) and Rowan Barber (18 not out) hung in and pushed the total past 100, but regular wickets had the hosts all out for a well below par 116 from 41 overs.
Bridgetown’s Brendon White bowled well on the day, taking 2-22 after seven overs.
In reply, Bridgetown’s openers started positively, attacking the Manjimup opening bowlers at any opportunity.
However, a couple of early wickets had Manjimup spirits high, with Cameron Harris (1-13 off five overs) making the batsmen earn every run.
James McAlinden rode his luck after an early chance and settled in to a match-winning innings of 51 not out, combining with Brendon White (33) in a crucial 48 run partnership.
Two quick wickets to Jozef Parkinson (2-41) gave Manjimup a glimmer of hope, with Bridgetown still needing 42 runs for victory and Manjimup needing six wickets.
Peter Mason (17 not out) joined McAlinden at the crease and they decided it was time for early refreshments, taking the game to the Manjimup bowlers and passing the total in the 24th over.
The win has earned Bridgetown a chance at another premiership after an amazing turnaround for the season after being winless from their first five matches.
The grand final will be played this Saturday on the Collier Street turf, a well deserved home game for Forestry who have been the dominant team all season.
But with the experienced Bridgetown line-up hitting form at the right end of the season, the final promises to be an epic contest not to be missed.
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