There’s excitement at Craigieburn Cricket Club as its first XI prepares for first grand final since 2012-13.
Since winning the 2012-13 Victorian Turf Cricket Association north A1 premiership, the Eagles haven’t even featured in a finals series, let alone had the opportunity to win a second first XI premiership.
Until now – with the side through to the north-west A1 grand final.
In a weekend semi-final, the Eagles produced a stand-out performance with the bat, ball and in the field to knock off the highly rated Westmeadows side.
Eagles vice-captain Nathan Pappin said the all-in contribution was biggest factor in the win.
“It was a very nice weekend of cricket,” he said. “Everyone contributed with either the bat, ball or in the field.”
The Eagles elected to bat and went to work on setting the Warriors a big score. Pappin said they were more than pleased with the total of 8-252.
“We were confident with that,” he said. “It was slow ground and not many boundaries were hit, so it felt like more.
“Daniel English batted unbelievably and was well supported by Ian [Blanchett] , young Sammy Laffan and Adam Davies.”
English top scored with 73, while Laffan and Davies both made 30s.
With the runs on the board, the Eagles were hoping for early wickets to really put pressure on the Warriors.
Former skipper Mick Bury was the man for the Eagles, destroying the Warrior top order and leaving them reeling at 5-15.
Pappin said Bury, who finished the match with five wickets, had finally had some luck go his way.
“We had them at 5-15 and they were key batters that were out,” he said,
“Mick got Danny Law, who we all know can take a game away from you, and he got Tarique Jeffries, as well.
“Mick’s being bowling well all year with no luck. On the weekend it went his way.”
The Warriors had a slight recovery when Praneeth Jayasundera and Chanaka Welegedara put on a partnership of 71.
But once Welegedara lost his wicket, the game was all but over.
The Warriors were bowled out for 119.
In the grand final, the Eagles will face Glenroy, which knocked off minor premier St Francis de Sales.
The two teams last met in the final round of the season, with Glenroy taking the points.
While the first XI side is looking ahead to the next two weekends, there was disappointment for the Eagles’ second XI, which lost to Glenroy in their semi final.