Cobram and Deniliquin have booked a date in the decider of Murray Valley Cricket Association’s Premier division this weekend.
The Rhinos defeated Katamatite by 58 runs in their semi-final clash at Barooga Recreation Reserve, despite a stirring run-a-ball century from Brayden Beaton.
Deniliquin opener Dean Edge (34) relished the opportunity to bat first as he got the Rhinos off to a great start, but he soon departed to bring top scorer Andrew Hogan to the crease.
Hogan belted nine boundaries on his way to 86 from 144 deliveries, as he and Brad Todd (48) cruised through the innings with the Rhinos posting a commanding 8-298.
Katamatite’s top order made double-figure starts, but lost their wicket to Rhinos strike bowler Nathan Burnell, as he tore through the batting line-up to claim 4-68.
The loss of early wickets brought Beaton to the crease at 4-79, and the century-maker quickly kicked into gear as he fought relentlessly hard for his 110 off 109 balls.
Beaton was the last batsman out for Katamatite, which ended his terrific knock as well as Katamatite’s season, finishing its run chase on 240 off 60 overs.
Cobram breezed past Barooga in their semi-final match to pencil in a final berth and its first crack at the premiership since the 2016-17 season.
Barooga batted first, with opener Sam Leigh’s 40 and Kale Watkins’ steady 26 helping it to a defendable total of 177 from 77 overs.
Cobram bowling duo James Daniel (4-48) and Wian Van Zyl (3-14) restrained Barooga’s batsmen with tight line and length bowling, which gave the Tigers a target of less than 200.
Barooga had the Tigers in all sorts of trouble early in their run chase — struggling at 3-23 — as Matt Jaensch ran riot, collecting 3-50 from 24 overs.
But it was Manuele and Izac Artavilla who picked up the reins and steered Cobram to victory, with both scoring 54 each, as the Tigers chased down the total with four wickets in hand to end the day 6-180.
The Premier division final between Cobram and Deniliquin will be at Cobram Showgrounds this weekend starting at noon.