Brothers keep final dream alive
By GREGOR MACTAGGARTmactaggartg@gladstoneobserver.dyndns.org
BROTHERS' march towards the Gladstone Cricket A grade grand final passed its latest test, scoring a hard-fought 20-run win against a gallant Yaralla in Saturday's day/night clash at Yaralla Oval.
Yaralla's profligacy with the ball, conceding a total of 49 extras compared to Brothers' 19, proved to be the difference during a match fought out in changeable weather.
Even so, Yaralla appeared in control during various stages of their chase, before a late-order collapse ensured the Brethren claimed the precious competition points.
Batting first, Brothers were in early trouble at 2-17 when Yaralla skipper Troy Webster dismissed Pat Laws and Mal Carlyon.
The Brethren then rebuilt to be 5-104 in the 31st over, mainly through solid opener Geoff Frost (15) and Matt Turich who topscored with 26.
But the loss of Turich, quickly followed by Andrew Manttan, Scott Keirsnowski and David Lewis at the hands of paceman Matt Morrison left Brothers at 8-113.
Needing someone to play a role, number eight batsman Scott Grimsley came to the party and found a willing ally in Scott Nicoll.
Together the two Scotts put on a crucial 25 for the ninth-wicket until Nicoll went for 8, while Grimsley was last man out for a valuable 18.
Webster was the best of the Yaralla bowlers claiming 3-19, while Morrison's spell of 3-24 was priceless.
Yaralla's chase of the 147 started in a similar fashion to Brothers, losing both openers with just 20 on the board.
Cometh the hour, cometh the man and that man for Yaralla was Webster, who yet again led the way for his team.
With solid support from Scott Gear (12) and Heath Courtney (19), Webster piloted his team to a nice vantage point under the bright night lights at 4-101.
But when he fell for a classy 55 (including five fours), the Yaralla innings quickly went downhill. They lost 5-26 including the last three wickets for 0, to be bowled out in the 41st over for 127. Laws (3-10) returned the best figures, but it was Dave Lewis' spell of 3-28 which turned the game on its head.
Matt Turich also played his part, claiming 2-18 in five lively overs.
Brothers have the bye next week, while Yaralla face a must-win home clash against Calliope.