The local cricket derby promised a thrilling encounter last Saturday and it didn’t disappoint with an absolute nail biter going down to the very last over.
In front of a healthy sized crowd and a very vocal one at that, the Gators claimed victory by just eight runs and sealed the minor premiership at 6.23pm on a long day for both teams and supporters.
The Crocs fell just short of forcing a replay the following week in what would have been an all Boorowa major semi-final.
Instead, the Crocs now face a sudden death match this Saturday whilst the Gators are just one win away from a Grand Final appearance.
Saturday’s match hung in the balance for most of the day after the Crocs had won the toss and sent the Gators in.
The Gators lost both openers, Russell George and Brendon Shean early and by drinks at 20 overs had recovered to be 4/70.
They lost a further wicket after drinks to be teetering at 5/71 before the experience of Chris McIntosh and Mick Canellis saw them recover to reach 6/145 in the 35th over.
The tail was set to launch an attack but the Crocs pulled it back in the last five overs to restrict the damage to 9/163.
Best of the Batsmen were Matt Canellis 41 and Chris McIntosh with 33.
For the Crocs Jye Paterson was the destroyer with 4/27 whilst Nick dwyer 1/17, Chris Dwyer 1/17, Blake Toman 1/24 and James Green 1/19 all took wickets whilst Phil Coggins threw a “bullet” like throw to effect a run out for the other wicket.
In reply, The Crocs were 1/0 early as Coggo collected dinner when he feathered one to the keeper. James Green and Jye Paterson then played steadily to get the Crocs in a good position at the halfway stage to be 1/82 at 20 overs.
They took the score to 2/103 when Jye fell LBW for 58.
James Green followed not long after for a well compiled 41 and the Crocs began to look a little shaky.
Wickets began to fall like nine pins when Blake Anderson began to take the long handle to combat an increasing run rate.
Blake chanced his hand once too often and departed for a quick fire 34.
Requiring 8 to win with one over left, the Crocs last wicket fell and the Gators moved one step closer to a Grand final birth.
Best of the Gators bowlers was man of the match Mick Canellis with 4/11 whilst Tim Gregory 2/26, Andrew Burns 1/32 and Chris McIntosh 1/37 along with Russell George all bowled good spells.
This weekend sees both Boorowa teams in action in the first week of the finals series.
The Gators will have the luxury of the home semi-final against old rivals Binalong at the Boorowa recreation ground.
Both sides are coming off last round victories and will be confident.
Binalong knocked Harden out of semi-final contention with a dominant display with the ball whilst the Gators delivered the painful loss to the Crocs.
The Gators will start favourites in this game being stronger on paper across the park.
However their batting will be slightly weakened due to skipper Chris McIntosh and opener Brendon Shean being unavailable for selection.
Binalong have some match winners but will need to be at their best to upset the high flying Gators who have lost just twice this season.
Home ground advantage and a very vocal local crowd should get the Gators a birth in the grand final.
Meantime, the Crocs are now in a whole different ball game.
Although losing just three games all season, they now face elimination if they lose against Murrumbateman at Harden this Saturday.
Having finished third, they should have had home ground advantage however the Gators will have this luxury with only one Boorowa ground available.
The Crocs have defeated Murrumbateman earlier in the season and will need to restrict the top order if they are to get the chocolates.
Boorowa has a superior bowling attack but the batting has been fragile in the last two weeks and will need to be at its best this Saturday.
Despite two losses from their last two starts they are confident of winning this final and continuing the road to the grand final.
It’s a long way off yet but the dream of an all Boorowa Grand Final is still a real possibility.
However for that to happen both Boorowa teams need to record a win this weekend.
It’s a massive weekend for local cricket and a very rare occasion when the locals get to play a home semi-final.
The action for the Gators home semi against Binalong gets underway at 12.30 and if this game is anything close to last week’s thriller, Bay 13 will be a sell-out. See you there.