Bluff Point up against it in quest for grand final as Wanderers firm as preliminary final favourites

Victor Tanti Geraldton Guardian
Pointers have suffered horror batting collapses to leave Wanderers as firm favourites in the preliminary final.
Camera IconPointers have suffered horror batting collapses to leave Wanderers as firm favourites in the preliminary final. Credit: Jake Santa Maria

Wanderers and Bluff Point meet tomorrow at GBSC Park in the Geraldton Bendigo Bank Cricket League preliminary final and bring in contrasting form.

The winner will advance to the decider next week against defending premiers Towns and Wanderers are favourites to do so based on current form.

Their loss last week against CVN can be discounted as they were missing key players; more to the point is their eight wins in the past 10 games, including two against the Pointers.

Clayton Bruce-Cherry is in great nick with 308 from his past six innings for a season tally of 467, including the only 100 this season.

Captain Kade Gillingham has 390, Jason Partington 307 and Shayne Bidwell 301 as they have posted totals of 180-plus in every one-day game since round eight, excluding the loss to Rams.

With the ball Bruce-Cherry has 31 wickets, Partington 19, Justin Clarkson 18 and though he’s bowled in only five games, Bidwell has 10 wickets.

Bluff Point has lost six of its past seven games, including the T20 final in a dramatic slide from the top of the table.

But they have their share of match winners in Carl Shilling, who has 231 runs and 25 wickets, Jay O’Brien with 258 and 8 inexpensive wickets and Aaron Thomas (146/17 wickets).

There’s also Matt Russell and Mitch McAuliffe (26 and 23 wickets respectively) so the Pointers can match Wanderers in bowling, but can they score enough runs?

They have been plagued by a series of batting collapses and have been bundled out for less than 100 in four of their past five innings.

If they are to have any chance they will have to stem the flow of wickets.

In B-grade, minor premiers Towns face Chapman Valley-Northampton at the Rec, while in the other semi Bluff Point play Dongara at Muir Park.

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