LONGFORD will meet Trevallyn in next week's TCL A-grade grand final after defeating Beauty Point by 28 runs in a tight preliminary final at Longford yesterday.
The home side won the toss and captain-coach Stuart Prewer elected to bat but their top order struggled in the face of some good bowling by Beauty Point.
Opener Scott Graham batted well to make 29 and Anthony Taylor again showed his importance to the batting order, top- scoring with 46 at No.4.
Longford lost wickets regularly to be 5-70 and was 6-103 when Taylor was dismissed.
Prewer contributed a handy 26 not out batting at No.7 and, with Brett Martin making 15, the tail managed to wag to get Longford to a defendable total of 160.
Quinton Tahiri, Beau Hills and Adam Jacobson picked up two wickets each for the Point.
Beauty Point was in early trouble in its run chase slumping to 4-21, with Dean Stephens removing Rob Eltringham and Vaughan Rose cheaply and Tim Fitzallen claiming Tyler Bain.
Captain Jason Savage was the linchpin of any recovery but despite being dropped three times, he was eventually picked up lbw by Graham for 27.
David Pfundt batted well to top- score with 33 batting at No.7 and Tahiri made 19 in the tail to combine for a 32-run partnership for the ninth wicket but the Tigers picked up the final two wickets required for victory, dismissing Beauty Point for 132.
Stephens picked up the good figures of 3-34 and Martin, Graham and Robert Moore took two wickets each.
"It was a bit of a struggle early and they bowled really well," Prewer said.
"We lost three quick wickets by bad shot selection and were really in trouble, when I went in we were about 6-100.
"I thought we probably needed 200 on the ground out here today but we scraped through to 160.
"We needed to take early wickets and we did that and Dean Stephens bowled brilliantly taking three of the first four wickets to have 3-15.
"We dropped Sav three times and there was a little bit of panic that he could get away but we ended up getting him out and had them in trouble at about 6-68 at drinks.
"They put on a ninth-wicket partnership of nearly 50 and got down to a run a ball at one stage and it was really tight but we took two quick wickets at the end to close it out."
Prewer said his team's batting effort was not as good as he had hoped for with some in-form top order players playing some rash shots and not playing percentages.
"The positive for us is that we won without a lot of our batsmen who usually score runs doing so today."
Longford will play Trevallyn in the grand final at Beauty Point on Saturday.
"They will be hard to beat and they're experienced in finals and know what to do," Prewer said.
"But we've won a preliminary final and we'll give it a go next week."