Coutts into Monday night finals
COUTTS Crossing booked a place in next Monday night’s elimination final against Westlawn with a convincing demolition job on Harwood.
The trip down the Pacific Highway turned into a nightmare for Harwood who were skittled for a paltry 72 runs.
Wickets tumbled like tenpins as strike bowlers Joel Gossen and Brad Chard ripped through the Harwood batting line-up like a can opener.
Gossen (5-21) and Chard (4-14) had a field day and at one stage had Harwood on the ropes – and embarrassed – at 9-37.
A last-wicket stand of 35 between Kane Aeschlimann (32 not out) and Tim McMahon (9) brought some respectability to the score but in the end the damage had already been done.
Coutts captain Tim Tilse, although understandably pleased with the victory, immediately turned the focus to next week’s game against Westlawn.
“It was a terrific effort but the job is not done yet. We need to focus on next week and take it head-on,” a reserved Tilse said.
“We’ve beaten both Brothers and Westlawn this year and it’s a chance for us to prove we can be competitive with the top sides.”
Any doubts 16-year old Chard and partner-in-crime Gossen were not up to Premier League standard were quickly dispelled as the duo took nine of the 10 wickets to fall.
It continues a rich vein of form for the young guns.
“Joel and Brad got us off to a great start; it was good to see Joel stand up. Even when we had them (Harwood) in strife I still had a few doubts,” says Tilse.
“I told the boys we’re not home yet and we need to finish off the job.
“As it turned out they (Harwood) fought back through Kane and Tim who put on a partnership for the last wicket. They were nine down at the 15-over mark until Kane and Tim got stuck in.”
There were no excuses for the Harwood batsmen who failed to show any resolve on a McKittrick Park wicket devoid of any demons.
A combination of poor shot selection and lack of patience didn’t help Harwood’s cause, and they will have to wait until next season for a crack at the title.
With rain clouds looming and chasing a small total, Coutts lost two quick wickets before Dean Hambly (44 not out) and Nick Wood (15 not out) guided their side to victory with 15 overs to spare.
Tilse conceded he was never fully confident until the winning runs were struck.
“We’ve lost games in the past from similar positions,” says Tilse.
“However it worked out for us this time and we are looking forward to the challenge next Monday.
“Dean stood up with the the bat and I’m keen to leave him in the number three position ... he smashed a few nice sixes.”
Brothers advanced directly into the grand final due to a superior net run rate.