AFTER bumper seasons in both grades, Orange City secured both the Orange District Cricket Association second and third grade minor premierships on Saturday.
Despite the Warriors losing to Gladstone in second grade, Steven Sharp’s team finished on top thanks to a superior quotient, after finishing equal with Wanderers on points.
With just three teams contesting the play-offs, top billing gives Orange City passage straight through to the second grade grand final, where they will meet the winner of Saturday’s preliminary final between second placed Wanderers and third placed Gladstone.
Despite a big, six-wicket win over Kinross, Wanderers couldn’t push its quotient high enough to overtake Orange City.
After rolling the students for just 75, with Gareth Faul snaring a well-deserved 6-27 from his eight overs, a vastly understrength Wanderers team chased the total down in just 17 overs, with all six needed batsmen chipping in.
In third grade, Orange City had the minor title all but sewn up heading into Saturday’s final-round clash with Centrals, but Orange City skipper Jason Beasley produced a stunning man-of-the-match performance to ensure his team secured top spot.
After winning the toss and batting first, Beasley put together a scratchy 40 before making a snap decision to take the new ball in Centrals’ innings.
Normally a change bowler, Beasley’s first three deliveries proved he made the right decision.
Beasley secured a hat-trick with the first three balls he bowled, before going on to finish with incredible figures of 7-16 from six overs to lead his side to victory.
Waratahs were left to rue their decision to bat first, after CYMS compiled 9-282 on a sticky wicket at Jack Brabham (2).
Mitch Winslade (77) and Eddie Wright (50) led the way for the green and golds, with healthy contributions from Andrew Borschtsch (38) and Michael Campbell (28).
Then, with just eight batsmen, Waratahs were dismissed for 50 with Borschtsch the best of CYMS’ bowlers, taking 2-13.
Cavaliers and Wanderers’ match in third grade was washed out, as were both Centenary Cup games.