THE Bega/Angledale Bulls A grade cricketers are going to the big show - and playing at home - after a storming win on the weekend.
Taking on the Merimbula Knights in the semi finals, the Bulls were deploying clever tactics that saw them dominate the game.
The Bulls took an early defensive stand that frustrated the Merimbula bowling attack and allowed Robbie Ringland to post an unbeaten 118 runs.
Bulls captain Dave Allen opened the batting steadily with Sean Lambert, but gun Knights player Wade Edmed stopped them in their tracks, taking a catch off Allen and bowling Lambert for a duck.
However, Lambert’s wicket brought out Ringland who played a tremendous defensive game that proved the difference on the day.
Ringland blocked every bowl over after over and just took the runs he could as he steadily built his total.
After Allen was caught by Edmed for 12, Ringland was joined at the crease by Sam Hodder and the duo began putting big pressure on the Knights’ attack.
As Ringland continued working through his runs, Hodder joined in with his own display and occasional bursts of aggression with some big swings.
Hodder was eventually dismissed for 71 by a catch from Luke Ryan off the bowling of Dylan Jordan.
After a near-200 run partnership, the Bulls were comfortably in front and still had wickets to spare.
Brad Moon added nine to the total, but was dismissed lbw by Edmed.
Hamish Wilcox added 16 in the lower order and with the total passing 270 runs, the Bulls declared.
Edmed did most of the damage with the ball in hand claiming four wickets.
Jordan claimed two wickets, while Brayden MacDonald took one.
Luke Ryan didn’t take any wickets, but his bowling did keep the Bulls quiet for seven maiden overs.
In reply, Merimbula was never really able to get off the mark.
The openers were dismissed cheaply, which spoiled chances of a comeback.
Kel Evans took a great catch to have the competition’s highest run scorer - Jordan - out on just six runs.
Meanwhile, fellow opener Lincoln Rixon-Petty was run out by Ringland for just one run to have the Knights on the back foot early.
A pair of ducks followed as Lucas Rixon and Wade Edmed were both caught.
Edmed has been a gun player for the Knights during the two-day season and his dismissal was a real dampener on the Merimbula outfit’s spirits.
It proved to be a day for the Bulls’ fielders as they continued to take wickets off the Knights.
Brendan Daley was caught by Glenn Wilcox for just eight runs and Merimbula was in increasing trouble.
Ryan stepped up to the crease in the Knights middle order and began chipping away at the massive total.
However, he was stumped by Evans for 26 runs off the bowling of young leg-spinner Jack Allen.
Ray Fisher added 18 before being caught by Kel Evans.
Jacob MacDonald came in the low order for the Knights and was able to score 16 before he was dismissed by Jack’s bowling.
With the extras added Merimbula was all-out for 93.
Sean Lambert and Jack were the danger bowlers for Bega/Angledale, with both claiming three wickets.
Meanwhile, the fielders made all the difference for the Bulls as Evans took four catches, while Hodder, Glenn and Hamish all took one each from the field.
The win ensures Bega/Angledale the home grand final next weekend where it will face Eden.
Eden slammed the South Eurobodalla Pirates to safely advance to the grand final.
The final score was Eden 217 to the Pirates’ 36 runs.
The two-day cricket grand final will be played at George Griffin Oval, Bega from 1pm on Saturday and Sunday.