Eagles soar for grand final spot

MOWBRAY will play Westbury in next weekend's NTCA grand final after both teams posted semi-final victories when the second day of matches wrapped up yesterday.

The Eagles resumed on their overnight score of 3-217 at the NTCA Ground and batted on for about half an hour in the hunt for quick runs before captain John Le Fevre declared the innings at 7-247, off 63.5 overs.

Mark Little was the best of the Lions bowlers picking up 3-45.

The Lions needed to bat for the remainder of the day to make the grand final but had a dismal day with the bat in the face of some good Mowbray bowling, being dismissed for 85, off 32.3 overs.

Little top scored with 40 not out batting at No.th7 and with opener James Whiteley (12) they were the only Launceston batsmen to reach double figures.

Justin Reeves and Ric Considine did the damage with the ball for the Eagles with Reeves picking up five wickets and Considine four.

``Our bowlers were excellent and the best they have been all year and as a group they bowled well together,'' Le Fevre said.

``Over the two days I thought we were a little better than Launceston overall and with the ball hitting that length where it is hitting the top of off stump a bit more consistently than them.

``Credit must go to our bowlers because to bowl a side out for 85 in a semi-final doesn't happen very often.''

WESTBURY progressed through to another grand final courtesy of a draw in a closely contested semi-final against South Launceston at Shaws Oval.

After most of the first day's play was lost due to wet ground conditions, the Knights resumed on their overnight score of 4-71, and declared at 9-160, just before lunch.

The Shamrocks had them 8-115 at one stage but Kyle Bowie put on 36 in the tail with Ben Austen to get the Knights to a competitive total.

Jonathan Chapman bowled well in the morning session to finish with figures of 3-35.

Westbury ended up 5-153, in reply, off 70 overs, with Matthew Battle top scoring with 45 and putting on a valuable partnership during the first session to set up the day with Sean Stevenson, who made 25.

Josh Adams (15 not out) and Wes Ripper (27 not out) combined well to get the Shamrocks to the final total with captain Dane Anderson also circumspect in his approach and spending time at the wicket.

Kyle Bowie and Jack Young took two wickets each for South.

``Making 160 in a final was a pretty good score and we were nervous about it,'' coach Adrian Tudor said.

``It ended up being a very exciting draw right down to the end.

``Neither team blinked and we ended up five down but it was a lot closer than that.

``It was every ball having something on it and we always had the runs in check but it was all about surviving the day for us and spending time at the wicket.''

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