Thirds and Fifths through to semi-finals as Fourth Grade bow out23-Mar-2016
By Adam Bagnall
Sam Powell put in an outstanding all-round performance (5/44 & 25 off 27) but it wasn’t enough as the Dolphins went down to Manly-Warringah at Waverley Oval in the Qualifying Final.
The home side won the toss and asked the visitors to bat first, a decision that looked to have paid dividends when Manly slumped to 5/44 early in the match thanks to Powell, Brooks (2/30 off 23 overs) and Palmer (1/37 off 17 overs).
Manly got out of jail with a timely 65-run stand for the sixth wicket and followed up with a 55-run partnership for the seventh as they approached the 200 mark.
Powell returned to the attack and took two quick wickets to restrict Manly to a modest total of 205.
Like their opposition, the Dolphins got off to a shaky start as one wicket was followed by several more in quick time, slumping to 5/36, still 170 runs from victory and needing a big partnership to keep their hopes of a home semi-final alive.
Brooks (30) and Maxwell (18) got things going again but they both fell in quick succession and only Powell and Reading (25) offered any resistance thereafter, the Dolphins eventually bowled out for 127.
Fortunately, other results went Easts way so Third Grade will get a second bite at the cherry against minor premiers Sydney.
Patrick Turk (4/38 & 35) did his best but ultimately the Dolphins went down to Penrith by 106 runs at Bill Ball Oval in the Qualifying Final.
Penrith batted first but found themselves in trouble at 3/27.
The Dolphins were then made to work hard for their wickets with a number of strong partnerships making life difficult for the bowlers, in particular a 76-run stand for the 8th wicket when the Dolphins looked like keeping Penrith below 200.
Chasing 256 for victory, the Dolphins’ start mirrored that of their opponents, with early wickets taking their toll and they found themselves in trouble at 3/29.
A handy 31-run partnership between Brown (14) and Sarkies (39) got things going again but three quick wickets had the Dolphins in big trouble at 6/71.
Sarkies and Turk rescued the innings and pushed them towards 150, but when Sarkies was dismissed it left the Dolphins 116 runs in arrears and with only 3 wickets in hand - a task that was beyond their reach.
It was a great effort from Matt Sarkies in his first year as captain to get the team to the finals - especially after failing to take a point from the first four rounds.
The Dolphins advanced to next week’s Semi Finals with a comfortable 110-run triumph over Parramatta at Trumper Park in their Qualifying Final match.
After a slow start in which they found themselves looking a little shaky at 2/31, and then 5/85, George Black and Harry White set about rebuilding the innings and they added a valuable 45 runs for the sixth wicket before Black fell for a fine 41 and White was dismissed shortly after for 31.
Another timely partnership pushed the Dolphins towards 200 thanks to Jack Atkinson (21) and Steven Lewis (39*), who steered the side to a competitive 210.
After losing a wicket early, Parramatta put on 29 for the second wicket, but a steady flow of wickets kept the Dolphins on top throughout the innings with Parramatta losing 5/17 at one stage to halt any momentum they may have had.
They added 26 for the 8th wicket to move past 100, but they were still well short of the target and the Dolphins wrapped up their innings on 120.
Steve Lewis finished with 4/32 off 19.5 overs and David Dunne took 3/32 off 25 overs.
Easts will now play Mosman at Waverley Oval in the semi-finals this weekend.
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