FORTY minutes before last Friday’s Royal Hotel Cup semi-final, Matt Roberts was getting ready to head to Wade Park as a spectator.
Then the phone rang.
Roberts was called into the Orange City side after young bowler Braden Riles was a late withdrawal.
His inclusion worked as he took four early wickets to help remove restrict Molong to 8-75.
Orange City then reached a winning 2-78 in the 14th over.
The victory launched Orange City into this Friday’s Twenty20 grand final against CYMS.
“We did bowl and field well. To be honest, it was pretty much a perfect performance for us,” Findlay said.
“The big difference was a couple of early wickets.”
Roberts dismissed Molong’s four batsmen Trent Frazer (7), Peter Tattersal (4), Luke Wood (1) and John Mulhall (8) and finished with figures of 4-11 from his four overs.
Molong was in serious trouble at 6-29 before Simon Fairley (24 not out) and James Brazier (17) pushed their total to 62 for the seventh wicket.
“Credit to them, they were 6-29 and almost made 80. That’s a competitive Twenty20 total,” Findlay said.
James Conn (1-7), Stuart Naden (1-11), Ed Morrish (1-15) and Adam Brakenridge (1-16) all claimed a scalp each.
Conn (9) was first to fall in City’s innings.
City’s next wicket was Adam Cowden (11) but by then they needed less than 30 runs for victory.
Shaun Grenfell (42 not out) and Findlay (12no) pushed City to the win.
“Grenfell was unbelievable. He’s batting brilliantly at the moment,” Findlay said.
“It looks like a convincing win but it was a bit closer than the score reflects because the Molong guys bowled well.”
Molong captain Trent Frazer took 1-13 from his three overs and Andrew Drady claimed 1-21 from 3.2 overs.
Findlay is thrilled to “get another crack at CYMS”.
He’s more excited to be in the final.
“One of the goals I set for the day-night team was to make the final,” he explained.
“I know a few guys are saying it’s only Twenty20 but we take it seriously. Any first grade title is a first grade title.”
The next challenge for Findlay and the Orange City selectors is trying to chose 12 players.
“It will be really difficult to pick 12 for the game because we’ve had 16 or 17 guys play for us this season and perform well at this level,” Findlay said.
The Royal Hotel Cup grand final between Orange City and CYMS will be played this Friday at Wade Park from 6.30pm.