South Launceston into 2016-17 Cricket North grand final after defeating Riverside in preliminary final

CENTURY-MAKER: South Launceston captain Alec Smith on his way to scoring 119 not out in the Cricket North preliminary final against Riverside. Picture: Paul Scambler

CENTURY-MAKER: South Launceston captain Alec Smith on his way to scoring 119 not out in the Cricket North preliminary final against Riverside. Picture: Paul Scambler

An unbeaten century to South Launceston captain Alec Smith has helped his side book a first grade grand final spot against Westbury in next weekend’s season decider.

In a great captain’s knock, Smith finished 119 not out in the Knight’s preliminary final victory over Riverside at the NTCA No.2 Ground on Sunday.

After dismissing the Blues for 72 with an impressive bowling performance, the Knights finished day one on 5-125 in reply, with Smith 69 not out.

Needing to bat on to ensure their victory and a grand final berth, South navigated the first session on day two without loss to finish 5-207 at lunch with Smith unbeaten on 119, after coming to the crease when his side was in early trouble at 2-9.

With the Knights in an impregnable position leading by 135 runs and an outright result for Riverside beyond hope, the two captains agreed to call an early halt to proceedings at the lunch break. Smith was a contented man after the game having helped guide his side to the grand final.

“I’m really happy and obviously we wanted to win a lot so to execute with bat, ball and in the field was really pleasing,” he said.

“Everyone wants to play well in finals so I was really happy I could contribute towards the team winning.

“The pitch was quite good really and they were quite vocal and up and about early but we had a few partnerships and batted well together – we should have got the runs and pushed on which we did and we can’t wait for next weekend.”

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