A FINALS berth beckons for both South Services and Coutts Crossing in the GDSC Premier League after both sides, who meet in a do-or-die last round next week, secured first innings results at the weekend.
Coutts Crossing who resumed bowling with GDSC Easts on 5-81 went on the attack early searching for an outright victory to leapfrog them into the top four.
Save for wicketkeeper Brad Knight, who resumed his innings on 51, the Easts tail order struggled to mount a fightback and limped to 115-all out following a five-wicket haul to Coutts paceman Zac Page.
Coutts Crossing came out to bat with outright victory in mind and despite the heavens threatening to open up on occasions, the Coutts side scored at a steady rate.
Captain Luke Cox pulled his men from the crease after they found themselves 50 runs ahead to chase the outright.
Easts' top order again struggled to find form with both openers returning to the sheds cheaply. But it was a conservative effort from Easts captain Ben Hill and wicketkeeper Brad Knight which had the side escape the outright loss.
South Services, however, were lucky to hold onto their spot in the top four after receiving a minor scare at the hands of Westlawn.
The efforts of a returning Justin Rainbow (43) last week were backed up by Brendan Cleaver (84 not out), who continued his improved form this season to take his side's total to past the 200 mark.
But a strong start from Westlawn opener Luke McLachlan (53) got his side into the driver's seat early as conditions worsened for Souths bowlers.
"We had posted a pretty good score and Westlawn almost beat us," Souths captain Chris Cleaver said. "That was a really good run chase. They had a couple of good partnerships there with two of them getting half centuries," Cleaver said.
But it was a dogged bowling effort from the captain himself (6-84) and Adam Spies (2-40) at the other end which had the match turn in Souths favour.
"Spiesy started from the end I bowled my overs from but because of the slope into the wicket, he was finding it hard to get his footing," Cleaver said.
"I sort of took him off and put myself on because I knew I would be able to stay upright more and I rotated the pace attack from the other end," he said.
Souths and Coutts will both look to harness the momentum from their respective wins as they head into a do-or-die final round match-up next weekend at McKittrick Park.
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WESTLAWN V SOUTH SERVICES
At Ellem Oval
Toss: South Services
South Services 1st Innings
T Kroehnert c Inmon b Vidler32
LJ Sullivan c Inmon b Vidler2
DW Cleaver b Gordon4
B Cleaver not out84
BL Sevil c Simpson b Vidler9
J Rainbow c Vidler b JA Blanch43
CA Cole c Simpson b Vidler0
C Cleaver lbw b Simpson6
M Peterson b JA Blanch8
LR Thompson b JA Blanch4
A Spies c Riddell b JA Blanch8
Extras (b 2, lb 1, w 2, nb 1)6
FoW: 1-9(LJ Sullivan) 2-38(T Kroehnert) 3-38(DW Cleaver) 4-49(BL Sevil) 5-121(J Rainbow) 6-122(CA Cole) 7-141(C Cleaver) 8-164(M Peterson) 9-180(LR Thompson) 10-206(A Spies)
Bowling: PJ Vidler 16-2-63-5, DE Gordon 9-2-23-1, BJ Inmon 1-0-10-0, JA Blanch 18.4-5-53-4, L McLachlan 2-0-13-0, Riddell 6-1-22-0, IM O'toole 4-0-19-0
Westlawn 1st Innings
L McLachlan c DW Cleaver b Peterson53
TJ Blanch c Rainbow b C Cleaver8
K Lawrence c Peterson b C Cleaver7
BJ Inmon c Thompson b C Cleaver53
PJ Vidler b C Cleaver21
AM Clay c Rainbow b Spies0
SM Simpson b Spies13
IM O'toole not out19
A Riddell st Sullivan b C Cleaver1
DE Gordon c Sullivan b B Cleaver7
JA Blanch lbw b C Cleaver1
Extras (b 4, lb 2, w 1, nb 3)10
FoW: 1-45(TJ Blanch) 2-65(K Lawrence) 3-95(L McLachlan) 4-147(BJ Inmon) 5-149(AM Clay) 6-155(PJ Vidler) 7-167(SM Simpson) 8-178(A Riddell) 9-192(DE Gordon) 10-193(JA Blanch)
Bowling: C Cleaver 23.1-3-84-6, A Spies 13-3-40-2, B Cleaver 14-3-37-1, M Peterson 7-1-26-1
RESULT: South Services won on first innings