PREMIER LEAGUE: Tucabia Copmanhurst have kept their finals hopes alive after defeating Coutts Crossing at Ellem Oval yesterday.

Tucabia faced some trouble early in the match against some quality bowling, after they lost their first five wickets for 46 runs after 15 overs, with Zac Page claiming four top order scalps.

It was up to Tucabia captain Bob McKenzie to steady his side's innings, top scoring with 58. The tail end took full advantage of easier batting conditions once the pitch levelled out as the day progressed, with Tyson Blackadder scoring his maiden first-grade half century to help his side to a total of 250.

"We were in a bit of trouble early but showed some good ticker to bat on and post a good score," McKenzie said.

"All of our players know, whether they bat at one or ten, they've got a job to do."

"It was great to see Tyson make those runs, they went a long way to us winning to game. To bat at 10 and score his first first-grade half century in a semi-final, what better time to do it."

In reply, Coutts Crossing failed to show the same resolve as they slumped to be all out for 87.

Coutts Crossing's Bill North said his side had its work cut out for it after losing four early wickets late on Saturday.

"Tucabia's opening bowlers bowled well last night to put us on the back foot straight away, and we didn't recover," he said.

"They certainly bowled well, but we had a few players capable of scoring runs but it just wasn't our day.

"None of us took advantage of what was a very good cricket wicket, and we gave our wickets away. We just didn't play well enough."

Meanwhile, Harwood became the first team to qualify for the grand final with an emphatic win over Brothers at Harwood Oval.

Like Tucabia, Harwood batted first but struck trouble early, sliding to 5-59 as Brothers bowled tight lines and applied plenty of pressure.

Ben and Hayden McMahon started the recovery with a 55-run partnership, then Ben McMahon found a great ally in young Lachlan Johnson as they put on a century stand to wrest control of the match.

McMahon knocked up a big hundred and Johnson made his first Premier League half-century as the home side reached 280 from 96 overs, leaving Brothers a tough day-two chase.

They were unable to come close, and were dismissed for 145.

Nathan Essex led the Harwood attack well, before Johnson followed up his batting heroics by taking six wickets with his left-arm orthodox spinners.

"The partnership Ben and Lachie put on was one of the best I have seen in Premier League after we were in plenty of trouble," Harwood skipper Nathan Ensbey said.



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