Altona Roosters caused a major boilover in toppling minor premiers Newport-Digman in the Victorian Turf Cricket Association division 2 semi-final at Digman Reserve on Sunday.
The Roosters were the clear underdogs in the contest, having finished fourth and a massive 22 competition points behind the Bulls after the home-and-away rounds.
They were also beaten by the Bulls three weeks out from the finals.
Whatever happened during the regular season mattered little in the semi-final.
Runs on the board were crucial for Altona Roosters and they managed to compile a competitive 229 off 79 overs on day one.
Malith Cooray was the cornerstone of the Roosters innings, making 75.
The in-form Cooray was also hugely important a game earlier with 104no to help the Roosters secure a final berth.
It was not a lone hand in the semi-final though, with captain Ash Peters (47) and middle order batsman Sanjaya Fernando (53) providing valuable runs.
Three wickets apiece from Newport-Digman’s Andrew Tee (3-44) and Amal Mahathelge (3-45) ensured the Roosters score did not blow out any further.
Newport-Digman’s chase fell short by 49 runs, despite a strong start by skipper Matt Shiell, who made 64 before he was run out.
Wicketkeeper Michael Formosa was the only other shining light for the Bulls with 35. The next best was 18 from Sulan Jayawardhana.
All five Altona Roosters bowlers took a wicket, with Peters leading the way with 3-30 off 13 overs. Cooray was the other multiple wicket-taker for the Roosters with 2-21.
For Altona Roosters, this win was a little bit of redemption for their embarrassing 162-run semi-final loss to Westmeadows last summer.
Now the Roosters can move into the grand final with confidence, where they will meet Glenroy on the road in a four-day game at Sewell Reserve starting on Saturday.
In other divisions, Williamstown Imperials were eliminated from the division 3 premiership hunt after a four-wicket loss to Sunshine.
Williamstown Congs’ season in division 4 is over after a seven-wicket defeat to Sydenham Hillside.
Gellibrand’s promotion dream ended with a seven-wicket loss to Aberfeldie Park.
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