Sunbury produced one of the performances of the season with the ball and in the field to stun Riddell and seal a grand final berth.
Having won eight straight matches in the Gisborne and District Cricket Association’s McIntyre Cup, the Bombers were red-hot favourites to beat an out-of-sorts Sunbury.
Sunbury entered the match with just two wins in the past seven rounds.
The Bombers won the toss on their home ground and elected to bat. They got off to a shaky start when star batsman Mick Allen was out for four.
Brendan Alger and Haydn Ross put on 23 runs for the second wicket, but that would be the biggest partnership of the innings.
Sunbury’s Heath Boffey, Jason McGann and Stephen Treweek started to wreak havoc.
The Bombers were bowled out for 86, and their bottom five batsmen scored just nine runs. Cameron Moran top-scored on 26.
Sunbury’s playing coach Justin Nelson said it was a performance they knew they could produce.
“We just fielded terrific and we had two direct runouts and the boys bowled really well,” he said. “We haven’t quite got the batting there. We’re doing two of the three things well and if we can put it all together next week, we’re a chance.”
The batting again proved to be a challenge and Sunbury was 5-55 at stumps on day one. Nelson and McGann were the not-out batsmen.
Sunbury battled hard on Sunday, but got the runs for first innings points, eight wickets down. It’s innings finished not long afterwards, bowled out for 94.
Max Scott top-scored with 33, and Matthew Livingstone was the best of the bowlers for the Bombers with 5-20.
The Bombers were keen to try and get a reverse outright result.
They belted the ball around the park and a couple of times on to roof tops as they made 3-151 off 15 overs declaring at tea. Allen made 68 which included three fours and six sixes.
For Sunbury the runs didn’t matter in the second innings, it was about batting out the rest of day. The experienced trio of Nelson, McGann and Paul Webber kept that goal on track and Sunbury finished on 6-73 for the win.
There was a sense of relief for Nelson and his teammates.
“It’s amazing we keep finding a way to get over the line,” Nelson said. “We’re not playing brilliant cricket but we’re in a grand final.”
The only downside for Sunbury was a hamstring injury to Scott, who didn’t field for most of the second innings and needed a runner to bat a second time.
Sunbury will face Gisborne in the grand final.