Westlawn opening bowler Matt Lobsey sends a quick delivery in the match against Harwood at Ellem Oval.
Westlawn opening bowler Matt Lobsey sends a quick delivery in the match against Harwood at Ellem Oval. Lynne Mowbray

Lobsey's grenades destroy Harwood

WESTLAWN booked a place in the Premier League grand final after their opening bowling pair of Matt Lobsey and Rohan Hackett ripped through a ‘tissue-thin’ Harwood batting lineup.

From the moment the new cherry was taken the duo mesmerized the Harwood batsmen with pace, bounce and seam.

Lobsey ploughed through the top order taking 5-59 while Hackett’s sheer pace netted him 4-29.

Harwood was eventually dismissed for 129, which according to their captain Tim McMahon was 100 runs short of a competitive total.

“We probably needed to get around 200 runs to give ourselves a total to defend,” McMahon said.

“Lobsey and Hackett both bowled well and Hackett bowled with plenty of pace. We didn’t help our cause, we played too many ill-disciplined shots...in the end we batted poorly.”

Nathan Ensbey (45) was the only batsmen to show any resistance as he watched wickets tumble around him.

Westlawn survived a few scares along the way to running down Harwood’s total but once again Brendan Purser played a splendid captain’s knock to guide his side to their first grand final appearance in five years.

Purser carried his bat to remain 78 not out in a chanceless innings.

“BJ (Purser) led from the front with the bat and his captaincy was first class,” veteran Westlawn spin bowler Tony Blanch said yesterday.

“It’s a credit to him on how he rotated the bowlers and his field placements were spot on...it’s the best I have seen him captain the side.”

Blanch said the game was set up by Lobsey and Hackett’s performance with the ball on a hard, flat Ellem Oval deck.

“Both bowled a great line and length and in good areas. Matt destroyed their top-order and Rohan was too good for their lower-order,” Blanch said.

A highlight of the match was the skills displayed by both wicketkeepers. McMahon and Jason Rainbow were all class behind the stumps and kept pressure on the batsmen standing up to the stumps to the quick men.

“Jason took three screamers, it’s not easy standing up to the stumps to Lobsey and Hackett...it was magic to watch,” Blanch said

Harwood have a week to regroup before taking on Brothers in the final and adding to their woes is the injury concerns over their strike bowler Kane Aeschlimann.

Aeschlimann has been under an injury cloud for the past few weeks and there were concerns regarding his fitness coming into the game against Westlawn.

McMahon could be without his opening bowler for this weeks clash with Brothers but Harwood have a ready made replacement if required.

“Kane tore his hamstring again at training on Friday and it doesn’t look good...he is in grave doubt,” McMahon said.

“Kane will do everything he can to be right for the game but if not we have Craig Moran returning from overseas.”

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