Port Augusta cricket: Quorn advance to Grand Final

CRICKET: Quorn captain Alex Hosking hits his third four for the day, helping his side advance to the Grand Final.
CRICKET: Quorn captain Alex Hosking hits his third four for the day, helping his side advance to the Grand Final.

Quorn’s quest for their third premiership in a row continued on Saturday afternoon when they won their way through to the Grand Final.

Their 97-run win over Central/Stirling in the preliminary final means they will take on minor premiers South Augusta next week for the flag.

Liam Bury returned to Quorn’s side and was sent out to open the batting alongside his captain, Alex Hosking.

The opening stand ended almost as soon as it started when Roby McDonald struck with the third ball of the match and bowled Bury for zero.

With the early setback, Hosking and Scott Williams set about building a good foundation with their second wicket partnership that lasted 18 overs and put Quorn back on top.

The momentum-swinging stand was ended when Brendon Davis found the edge of Williams and Toby Baxter took the catch at first slip.

After that, the sea-saw continued to tilt in Central’s favour when Hosking dragged the ball back on to his stumps and was bowled for 25 by Tom Baulderstone.

Kade Baker survived an early onslaught, but knuckled down and made his way to 15 in a 37-run stand with Matt Griffiths, but his innings was ended when he spooned one to Roby McDonald at point off Orson Poole.

The Central bowlers lifted with these wickets, but had no answers for Griffiths and Simon George, who put on a match-winning 68 runs for their fifth-wicket partnership.

No matter who the bowler was, the pair seemed to take them apart, scoring at a rate of 6.18 runs an over.

Griffiths finally fell for 55 when he mistimed a lofted off drive and was caught off Drew McDonald. This didn’t stop George, however, who carried on hitting boundary after boundary.

George took 19 off one Drew McDonald over and got his way to 81, but Drew’s brother Roby got some revenge when he ended the remarkable innings for 81.

After George fell, 26 runs were added to get Quorn to an intimidating total of 246.

Roby McDonald finished with 4/40 and Brendon Davis had figures of 2/52, but no bowler outshone George and Griffiths, who combined for more than 50 per cent of the total.

Central have had a poor season with the bat, so 247 seemed beyond them, but that didn’t disrupt the determination of opening batsmen Lucas Hill and Drew McDonald.

They got off to a great start with nine runs off the first over thanks to some wayward bowling from Bury.

However, he got his radar back on target quickly and dismissed both Hill and McDonald before either of them reached double figures.

Quorn were now in the box seat with a big score and two early wickets, but Roby McDonald and Jeremy Edson began to counter attack.

McDonald in particular looked in good touch, taking advantage off anything he could score off. He blasted his way to 26, but then lost Edson as his partner when the veteran was caught in the slips off Josh O’Donohue for seven.

With McDonald firing, Toby Baxter strode out to the middle, looking to play an anchoring role and did that for a little while, before he was also dismissed for nine.

Nathan Khan took his place and started slowly, before Quorn took the big wicket they wanted when McDonald chopped one off George just one run shy of a well-deserved 50.

From there, Central continued to try and lift their score, but the task was simply too difficult, despite a solid batting performance.

Baulderstone, Davis and Khan all fell in the search for runs, before a late 22-run partnership between Orson Poole and Cameron Edson simply delayed the inevitable and Central were bowled out for 149.

In a disappointing season with the bat, this was one of Central’s best team batting efforts all summer, but it still brought an end to their season.

Quorn will deservedly continue on to the big dance next week against South, as the two best sides this season will battle for the flag.