MAIDEN Gully fired off a pre-finals warning to Spring Gully in the Emu Valley Cricket Association on Saturday.
The two sides will meet again in a semi-final next weekend, with Maiden Gully going into the game off the back of a 48-run win over the Crows in the final round.
Maiden Gully successfully defended its score of 168, bowling the Crows out for their lowest score of the season – 120.
The Crows had been solidly-placed in their chase at 1-62, but Dallas Gill led a strong performance with the ball from the Gully as Spring Gully lost its last nine wickets for just 58 runs.
Gill claimed the last four of those wickets to finish with 4-8 off 5.5 overs, while the evergreen Leon Beatty (2-15) was kept busy in the field, taking four catches.
The Crows’ innings featured seven players dismissed for three or less, with Rhys Webb’s 36 after he came in a 1-6 the top score in a disappointing end to the home and away season for Spring Gully.
• Marong broke a seven-year drought against United with its 96-run win over the Tigers.
Resuming at 0-65, the Panthers ended the day 6-271 in reply to United’s 175.
It was Marong’s first win over the Tigers since the 2010-11 season.
The Panthers’ successful run-chase was anchored by a 145-run opening partnership between brothers Jeremy Ross (83) and Scott Ross (58).
Jeremy’s 83 followed his 112 against Golden Gully the previous round and took him to the top of the Panthers’ run tally for the season with 367.
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Marong also had Duane Anderson (54 n.o.) make a half-century as the Panthers ended a season in which they finished sixth with back-to-back wins.
Captain Josh White (2-42) and Nathan Taig (2-33) picked up two wickets each for United, which in finishing fifth is missing the finals for only the third time since 1980.
• West Bendigo endured a forgettable final day of the season, spending it chasing leather against Sedgwick.
Having started the day at 2-51, the top-of-the-ladder Rams smashed the highest score of the season – 420 – in reply to the Redbacks’ 142 to win by 278 runs.
Sedgwick’s run-feast was the sixth time since the 2006-07 season the Rams have scored 400-plus.
Dustin Elliott made the second century by a Rams’ player this season with his 120, which included 19 boundaries and three sixes.
In total the Rams’ innings featured 60 boundaries and eight sixes – a combined 288 runs.
Andrew Sheehan (62) and teenager Bailey Ilsley (54) both made half-centuries, while the No.9 and 10 pair of veteran Scott McKenzie (43) and Justin Hancock (48) combined for 91 runs.
Captain Brendon Lummis (3-40) and Tarran Kilcullen (3-87) each took three wickets for the Redbacks.
• Mandurang opted for a day of pre-finals batting practice against Golden Gully.
The Rangas had already won on day one after reaching 1-114 at stumps in reply to the Cobras’ 110.
The Rangas added a further 225 runs on Saturday to reach 335 in an innings where Matt Pask (91) and Sean Rashleigh (53) both made half-centuries.
Brad Webster’s 3-96 for Golden Gully ensured he ended the season as the competition’s leading wicket-taker with 32.
The Cobras finished on the bottom of the ladder, a year after winning the flag.