First Grade defeat Sutherland to advance to semi-final showdown against Bankstown23-Mar-2015
Easts Dolphins are one win away from reaching the First Grade decider after defeating Sutherland in their qualifying final at Glenn McGrath Oval.
On a lifeless wicket, Easts managed to dismiss Sutherland for 237 on the opening day before passing the target with three wickets to spare.
Most pleasing for the Dolphins were the number of key contributions that led to the victory.
Pacemen Tas Yazdani (4-51) and Jacob Taucher (3-61) provided good penetration, while spinner Shane Devoy (2-47) ensured the Sharks lower-order couldn't lead a revival.
Easts were under pressure at 3-44 in the run-chase after NSW players Peter Nevill (14) and Nic Maddinson (5) fell cheaply.
But steadying knocks from Adam Ezekiel (61*) and Greg Clarence (50) calmed nerves.
Devoy also chipped in 46 and although Easts lost two wickets while the scores were tied, victory in the end was relatively comfortable.
The Dolphins will now face Bankstown in the semi-finals.
Third Grade lost a dramatic qualifying final in which 34 wickets fell over the two days.
After being sent in, Easts were skittled for just 68 with Brenton Barker (26) top scoring.
Sydney Uni were cruising in response at 0-32 but an inspired spell from Jack Playfair turned the match.
Playfair bowled 19 overs straight, taking 5-31 and was given brilliant support from Matt Sarkies (4-16) who continued unchanged for 18 overs.
The duo reduced Sydney Uni to 9-64 before a last wicket partnership of 14 gained Uni a lead of 10.
Easts set out looking for quick runs, but again gave wickets away too easily to be dismissed in 35 overs for 105. Ollie Maxwell top scored with 25.
Despite a slight wobble in their chase, Uni knocked off the target for the loss of just four wickets. Sarkies was again impressive, taking 2-26.
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