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Senior country week: Bunbury to square off against Albany in A-Section decider on Friday

Headshot of Justin Fris
Justin FrisSouth Western Times
BDCA opener Bradman May fought hard for his side.
Camera IconBDCA opener Bradman May fought hard for his side. Credit: Justin Fris/South Western Times

Hopes of consecutive A-Section titles for the Bunbury and Districts Cricket Association at senior cricket country week remain alive, after the BDCA’s 1st XI narrowly defeated a brave Geraldton by three wickets on Thursday afternoon.

The victory means the Blue Swans will now square off against Albany in the grand final on Friday at the WACA ground.

Played at Charles Veryard Reserve in Leederville, the absorbing semifinal was hotly contested from the opening delivery.

The BDCA were confident of a strong performance heading into the game, given their unbeaten streak in the carnival.

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Winning the toss and electing to bat, the Mid West outfit were put through their paces early by seamer Liam Renton (1-45 off 20 overs), who went for a miserly seven runs off his first five overs.

However as the sun continued to beat down unforgivingly, Geraldton changed gears from content to soak up pressure to aggressively playing positive shots, roughly 10 minutes before lunch.

Geraldton's Jai Russell frustrated the BDCA's bowling attack.
Camera IconGeraldton's Jai Russell frustrated the BDCA's bowling attack. Credit: Justin Fris/South Western Times/South Western Times

With Clayton Bruce-Cherry (47 off 50 balls) and Jai Russell (41 off 65 balls) both breaking the shackles, the BDCA’s bowling attack began to cop some treatment — and suddenly, the Mid West marvels looked on course for a score in the vacinity of 230.

BDCA's Zane Verhaaf celebrates after taking a clever catch in the deep to dismiss Clayton Bruce-Cherry.
Camera IconBDCA's Zane Verhaaf celebrates after taking a clever catch in the deep to dismiss Clayton Bruce-Cherry. Credit: Justin Fris/South Western Times

However the Blue Swans — reigning champions of A-Section — did not panic, with the return of Cory Fitt’s spin netting a series of late wickets and slowing Geraldton’s roll.

Geraldton seamer Gerard "Ringo" McKenna was inspirational for his side.
Camera IconGeraldton seamer Gerard "Ringo" McKenna was inspirational for his side. Credit: Justin Fris/South Western Times/South Western Times

Aware they needed to make something happen quickly in a bid to wrest back momentum, classy Geraldton left arm quick Gerard “Ringo” McKenna struck early, removing Mitchell Boyle.

When youngster Tyne Dodds joined him a short time later following a mix-up between the wickets, the BDCA had slumped to 2-11 and were in a spot of bother.

However superb batting by Bradman May (77 off 156 balls) and Blair Malatesta (54 off 55 balls) ultimately swung momentum back into the reigning champs’ favour.

In the other A-Section semifinal, Albany cruised into Friday’s grand final after they chased down Esperance’s paltry 116 to win by five wickets.

The grand final begins at 10am, with free entry to all spectators.

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