St Anthonys is hoping it’s third time lucky in the Gisborne and District Cricket Association Johnstone Shield District Firsts.
Having won through to their third grand final in four seasons, the Saints are hoping luck goes their way this time around.
The Saints defeated Riddell in their semi-final, but it didn’t come without a scare.
Saints’ captain-coach Cameron Clayton said it could have been a much different result.
“We were in trouble at 6-84 and managed to get to 235 which is a big score in finals,” he said.
“We were happy at the end of the day.”
Paul Scott top scored with 65, while Andrew Finn scored 64.
Importantly, the last partnership between Jason Craven (24) and Jason Orr (16 not out) put on 38 runs.
Clayton said those four were the keys to putting in a decent score.
“They saved us,” he said. “We ended up facing 76 overs, so we basically batted out our overs.”
The Saints qualified for the grand final when they bowled the Bombers out for 143.
Clayton said they got off to a slow start before pegging the Bombers back.
“We bowled really tight and that set it up for us,” Clayton said.
“They got off to a good start and were about 1-50. We had bowled about 48 overs before tea which was really good.
“We kept it tight and restricted them and they lost some wickets in clumps.”
The Saints bowlers shared the wickets around, with Clayton leading the way with three wickets.
The Saints now face Bacchus Marsh, which upset minor premiers Rupertswood.
The Saints and Bulls played each other in the final round of the season, with the Bulls chasing down 304 on that occasion.
Clayton said that loss was a bit of a wake-up call for the side heading into finals.
“The best team will come out on top,” he said. “I’m assuming they will have the same side in again.
“Hopefully we will get the win.”
Clayton said he hoped it was their turn after so many near misses in recent years.
Last season they lost the decider to Wallan.
“It’s the third time in four years and it’s about time we won one,” Clayton said.
“We know where we went wrong last season and we spoke about it.
“If we’re good enough we’ll get there.”
The Saints’ fifth side faces a similar situation this weekend as they also host Bacchus Marsh in a grand final.
The Saints second XI was knocked out after losing a semi-final.
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