Goulburn Murray's shot at redemption

FOR the second year in a row, Ferntree Gully and Goulburn Murray will meet in the Bendigo Country Week division one grand final at the QEO on Friday.

The grand finalists both ended the preliminary rounds with 3-1 records to earn their places in the carnival decider.

They have already clashed once this week when Goulburn Murray won by 174 runs on Monday, while when they met in last year's grand final, Ferntree Gully was victorious by 53 runs.

Ferntree Gully booked its grand final berth with a 36-run win over Gisborne at MyJet Oval on Thursday

Ferntree Gully had six players score at least 20 in its innings of 9-186, but no-one cashed in on a start as No.10 Marshall Bunting top-scored with 33.

Darcy Nolan snared 3-37 for Gisborne, which faced an uphill battle in its chase once it fell to 7-89.

A 52-run stand for the eighth wicket between captain Warren Else (43 off 50) and Heath Boffey (28 off 49) gave Gisborne a sniff of an unlikely victory.

But once Else was dismissed, Gisborne - which finished on the bottom of the ladder - lost its last three wickets for just nine runs to be all out for 150.

Gisborne had six players dismissed for single figures in its innings.

Opening bowlers Martin Weightman (4-50) and Cameron Wheeler (3-25) took seven wickets between them for Ferntree Gully.

• For the second year in a row perennial power Murray Valley has missed a berth in the grand final, but it ended its carnival by inflicting Goulburn Murray's first defeat.

Murray Valley won by 24 runs at Bell Oval.

Batting first, Murray Valley compiled 230 before it was bowled out with three balls left in its innings.

Openers Luke Patel (50) and Kieran Andrew (40) put on 64 for the first wicket, while No.4 Damian Atkins (43) also batted well for Murray Valley.

Former skipper Dylan Cuttriss was in fine form with the ball for Goulburn Murray, bagging 5-69 off 17.3 overs.

Having averaged a score of 273 over its first three games, Goulburn Murray couldn't fire with the bat for a fourth day in a row and was dismissed for 206 in reply.

Liam Evans was the chief destroyer with the ball for Murray Valley with a superb spell of 7-63 off 18 overs, which included the key Goulburn Murray wicket of Liam Gwynne (29).

Opener Joe Taylor followed his 97 from Wednesday with 68, while Cuttriss capped off a superb all-round game with a knock 52.

• Castlemaine ended its week with a brutal batting display against Northern Districts at KWD Oval.

Castlemaine pummelled 8-358 in reply to Northern Districts' 9-279.

Captain Matthew Kile showed his class with 107 for Castlemaine, while Jamie Allan (83 n.o.) and opener Nathan Stubbings (54) both made half-centuries.

Veteran Allan - who ended the carnival averaging 110.5 - and Kile put on 152 for the third wicket.

Brad Windridge (3-52) was the leading wicket-taker for Northern Districts.

Earlier, opener Clayton Holmes (101) batted superbly to score a century for Northern Districts. 

Holmes was well supported by skipper Greg Dickson (48) and Windridge (56) after Northern Districts had been 2-9 early. David Forde (5-78) rounded out his week with a five-wicket bag for Castlemaine.

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