PROVINCIAL: LANGWARRIN has come from nowhere to claim a place in the Provincial finals after smashing Moorooduc on Saturday.
In the final round of 2013-14, the whole season hinged on four matches.
Langwarrin had to belt Moorooduc to be a chance, Mt Eliza had to do likewise to Mt Martha, and Long Island and Baxter needed to beat top-of-the-table Sorrento and Mornington respectively.
Langwarrin achieved its objective, beating the Ducs by a whopping 144 runs.
The Mounties got the 12 points against Mt Martha but weren’t overly convincing.
Baxter only made 128 against Mornington, which was never enough.
The eyebrow-raiser was Long Island heading down to Sorrento and coming away with a win.
After the calculators came out following the matches and the MPCA verified the figures, Mornington topped the table and was crowned minor premiers.
Sorrento finished second, Long Island third and Langwarrin fourth.
At the other end, Mt Martha was relegated to District ranks next season. It finished equal on points with Rye, but its percentage was 0.01 behind.
Finals was a great result for Langwarrin in its first season back in the top grade.
It wasn’t all great news for the Kangas as opening batsman Simon McEvoy sustained a leg injury and required a runner for the majority of his 80 not out innings. He will miss the semi-final this weekend but this opens the door for Taylor Smith, who scored 91 on Saturday in the Second XI and has 400 runs for the season, including a First XI century against Peninsula Old Boys in one of his five senior appearances.
Despite injury, McEvoy took control of the match at the top of the inning, and Andy Johnson saved some of his best for the final round, belting 71 runs.
Langwarrin finished on 4/255. To improve its percentage, the team needed to preserve wickets, get plenty of runs, and take 10 wickets. It achieved all of this.
Matt Davie snared early wickets and when Bobby Wilson was run out for just 10, the Kangas could sense an opening.
Mal Coutts and Dwayne Doig finished things off, rolling the Ducs for just over 100. Myles Cordeux was the only bat to offer resistance, scoring a half century.
Long Island was sensational once again against Sorrento.
In what was a dress rehearsal for this weekend’s semi-final between these two, Islanders’ openers Paul Hartle (55) and Aaron Paxton (31) got the side away to a flyer before Justin Bridgeman strode to the crease and made 83.
The score of 8/224 was a ripper at David McFarlan Reserve but it was gettable.
C J King was the pick of the Sorrento bowlers with 4/63.
In reply, Leigh Poholke (29) and Nick Jewell (21) got Sorrento going but fell within 12 runs of each other.
While Andrew Tweddle and Scott Phillips did the early damage, it was Greg Lamb (5/32) and Hartle (3/45) who provided the bulk of the problems for the Sorras.
Sorrento was all out for 146 in the 33rd over, Liam O’Connor top-scoring with 33.
Mornington didn’t have too many problems defeating Baxter. Baxter won the toss and batted first, losing its first three wickets, including Daniel Warwick for a duck, for just five runs.
Shane McComb hit 34 and Dale Irving 37 to help the score to 128.
Michael Heib was superb for the Dogs with 5/28. In reply, the Dogs made 3/150.
Mt Eliza made 5/178 in its match against Mt Martha, Tim Strickland top-scoring with 53, Ben Tracey opening with 36 and Luke Marshall next best with 35.
In reply, the Reds were all out for 108 in the 33rd over. Chris Holcombe top-scored with 27.
Crib Point (5/151) won its final match of the season against Heatherhill (8/147), Luke Herrington top-scoring with an unbeaten 83 and snaring 2/18.
In the final match of the home and away round, Peninsula Old Boys (2/155) got the 12 points against Rye (151).
In this weekend’s finals, Sorrento will host Long Island, and Mornington will host Langwarrin at Alexandra Park.