By Jackson Russell
Laurimar is through to its second consecutive Diamond Valley Cricket Association Mash Shield grand final after a nine-wicket semi-final win over Hurstbridge.
Laurimar’s bowling attack had the visitors under the pump early as Hurstbridge fell to 4/30 with wickets taken by Nathan Woods and Steven Mitchell.
Woods got the ball rolling, dismissing opener James McCarthy for 1, caught behind by wicketkeeper Ned Welsh.
Welsh took his second catch of the day not long after, as Mitchell dismissed opener Joel Lovett for a duck.
It was Woods’ turn again as Welsh took his third catch in a row to dismiss Kusal Edussooriya for three.
Mitchell finished off the top order, sending Stephen Corcoran on his way for 19.
Sahan Wijesiri and Damon Earp were able to put together a 20-run partnership before Chris Marienfeld dismissed Earp for 9, caught by Steven Mitchell.
Marienfeld and Mitchell combined again to send Michael Berry packing for three as Hurstbridge fell to 6/58.
Wijesiri and David Salvatico put together a 36-run partnership before Luke Richardson ended it with his first wicket of the day, dismissing Salvatico for 23.
Hurstbridge captain Nicolas Blackwood joined Wijesiri in the middle to put on a 24-run stand before Richardson struck again, dismissing Blackwood for six.
Richardson finished off Hurstbridge’s tail, taking the next two wickets with Wijesiri caught by Laurimar captain Jake Zerella for 70, bowling Hurstbridge out for 147 from 73.4 overs.
The Power were in control from start to finish of their innings, only needed half a day to get the job done on Sunday.
Ashley Williams and captain Jake Zerella put on a 143-run opening partnership, ending any chance of a Hurstbridge upset before it could begin.
Zerella was the only wicket to fall, getting caught after making 58 from 118 balls.
William was unbeaten on 85 from 127 deliveries with eight boundaries and finished the run chase with Daniel Roberts.
Zerella said it was pretty exciting to have a chance at winning a flag.
“I think to roll a side for 147 in a semi, you’re in the box seat,” he said.
“It was a massive effort from the boys, [Woods and Mitchell] bowled well early to get the breakthrough. It was a comprehensive effort with the ball.
“To get them one down in the end, it’s always good to go into a grand final in good form with the bat and the ball.”
Laurimar will face Bundoora Park in the grand final at Ben Frilay Oval in Hurstbridge, starting on Saturday at 1pm.
Zerella said he thinks the Power matches up well against the one-loss Bundoora Park side.
“They’re a good batting side and so are we so it’s just a matter of who can make more runs,” he said.
“I back us to beat them, we showed some good form against them early in the year and I think we’re a good chance of getting the job done.”