GAME CHANGER: Bowral spinner Patrick Johnson took 4 for 47 against Temora.
GAME CHANGER: Bowral spinner Patrick Johnson took 4 for 47 against Temora. Adam Hourigan Photography

Bowral, Yass to contest Country Plate grand final

COUNTRY PLATE: Bowral and Yass will be vying for a maiden McDonalds Country Plate title after both registered semi-final wins at Grafton yesterday.

Bowral captain Chris Weller said he couldn't be prouder of the way his squad pulled through after bowling Temora out for 125 defending 148 at McKittrick Park.

Sent into bat on a wicket they thought would play 'hard and true', Weller said there were some surprises in the deck.

"It turned out to be a bit wet underneath, and it was a tough innings," he said.

"I thought they had the best of both innings in playing conditions, but they put a few catches down and bowled a lot of wides as well.

Struggling at 5 for 60, Jack Whitfield (42) and Ryan Haigh (35) ensured Bowral scored a total to bowl to.

"They put in a really good effort, and without those we were no hope of getting to 100 and it could've been a different game," Weller said.

Led by opener Mark Simson (48), Temora skipped out to a 0/62 just after the lunch break. But a change of plan from Bowral started a collapse.

"We said at the lunch break we wanted play boring cricket, create a ring field," Weller said.

Left-arm orthodox Patrick Johnson (4 for 37 off 10) took the four top order wickets late in his spell, helping reduce Temora to 8/102, and after some late order fight, they were dismissed for 125.

Weller said they were looking forward to the final, but needed to get off to a better start with bat and ball.

"Even in our local comp we can be a bit flat at the start, and it's going to be crucial for us."

At Lower Fisher Park, Yass successfully chased down Cessnock's total of 180 to win by three wickets.

Yass lost early wickets before Nick Pollack (45) steadied the innings including a valuable 55-run 4th wicket partnership with Matt Clifton. Middle order batsmen Andrew Swaffield (45) and Craig Irwin (26no) then held their nerve to take Yass from 5 for 119 in the 35th over to within four runs of the required total.

A couple of late wickets added to the nerves of captain David Field, but in the end his side got the job done in the 48th over.

"I wasn't really comfortable until the winning runs to tell the truth," Field said.

"It's a long way to come so to make it to the final I'm pretty with that."

The grand final at Lower Fisher Park starts at 10am and will be umpired by Graham Moon and Graham Rose.

SEMI-FINAL SCORES

BOWRAL 148 (J Whitfield 42, R Haigh 35; D Tassell 4/25, L Gerhard 2/29) def TEMORA 125 (M Stimson 48, T Winkley 19; P Jackson 4/37, P Crawford 2/16, J Whitfield 2/25).

YASS 7/177 (M Clifton 21, N Pollack 45, A Swaffield 31, C Irwin 26no; M Hopley 3/17, S Abel 2/25, M Shearer 2/24) def CESSNOCK 176 (D Olsen 25, J Varoxis 38, B Richards 38; M Brown 4/23, B Walker 2/33, B Bolger 2/41, C Irwin 2/40).



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