A late season slump hasn’t been enough to stop Tumut Plains and their quest for Elders Cup immortality.
After needing a victory in their final round fixture against Lippers to secure a semi finals berth, Plains have followed that win up with a 24-run victory over Lotts at Stan Crowe Oval on Sunday.
Cricketing pundits witnessed some great cricket in the sudden-death semi final with Tumut Plains winning the toss and electing to bat.
The Tumut side, which was led by Glenn Appleby and a season-defining 76 with the willow, went on to score 6/198 in their 40 overs.
In return, Lotts, who were without the likes of Mick Butler and Shawn Smith, were bowled out for 174 in 37.5 overs.
Scott Manual and Nick West had Tumut plains off to a solid start with the pair moving the score to 41 before Manual was trapped in front on 21 by Jacob Ferguson.
West followed shortly after when Alex Smith bowled him on 16; Tumut Plains were now 2/45 at the end of the ninth over.
Glenn Appleby and Stephen Gill were able to last until after drinks, combining for 56 runs before Gill was out; caught by Dan Attwood off the handy work of Tom Ferguson and Plains were 3/101 in the 24th over.
Highlighting the depth of batting in the Plains order, Luke Armstrong came in at five and was able to put on 72 runs with Appleby, taking Plains to 4/173 before he was trapped in front by Andrew Smith on 32.
Kevin Keogh came to the crease but shortly after Appleby was out on 76 when caught off the bowling of Tom Ferguson.
Keogh hit a quick-fire 12 but was also out when Andrew Smith bowled him.
Daniel Thomas and Matt Sturt finished out the Tumut side’s innings, scoring one and eight respectively and helping their side to 6/198.
Lotts lost veteran opener John Smith cheaply when Sturt caught him off the bowling of Mitch Henman, leaving the Gundagai side at 1/21 in the third over.
Tarron Makeham held the Lotts’ top order together on his way to a solid 53 but others around him just struggled to go on with their starts.
Andrew Smith also scored 12 before being caught by Glenn Appleby off Scott Cooper’s bowling.
Alex Smith soon followed when out on six after Appleby also caught him off the bowling of Dan Thomas.
At this stage, Lotts were 3/73 at the end of the 14th over but in next was Dan Attwood, who combined with Makeham to score 46 runs.
Makeham was eventually out in the 25th over when caught and bowled by Matt Sturt and Lotts were left sitting at 4/118.
Jacob and Craig Ferguson offered little impact, out for five and four respectively after Gill earned his first wicket of the match, while Sturt took his third.
Attwood was then out on 28 after he was clean bowled by Gill and the Gundagai side was in trouble at 7/128 in the 28th over.
Chris Tozer was out in the following over when Armstrong caught him off Sturt’s bowling, reducing Lotts to 8/135, meaning Plains only needed one wicket for victory.
Despite this, Thomas Ferguson and Paddy Reardon dug in and had Lotts in striking distance before Ferguson was eventually out on 21 when caught by West off Sturt’s bowling.
Reardon was the man left standing on 14 not out and Lotts were left to rue an innings of lost opportunities and missing players.
On the other hand, Plains were gifted a chance to take on Coolac this Saturday for a place in the Elders Cup decider against Wyangle the following weekend.
S. Manual, lbw J. Ferguson 21
N. West, b A. Smith 16
G. Appleby, c T. Makeham, b T. Ferguson 76
S. Gill, c D. Attwood, b T. Ferguson 12
L. Armstrong, lbw Andrew Smith 32
K. Keogh, b Andrew Smith 13
D. Thomas, not out 1
M. Sturt, not out 8
Bowling: J. Ferguson10-0-1-51, Andrew Smith, 10-2-3-40, Alex Smith 6-0-0-23, T. Ferguson 10-0-2-56, J. Smith 4-0-0-17.
T. Makeham, c&b M. Sturt 53
J. Smith, c M. Sturt, b M. Henman 12
Andrew Smith, c G. Appleby, b S. Cooper 12
Alex Smith, c G. Applby, b D. Thomas 6
D. Attwood, b S. Gill 28
J. Ferguson, b S. Gill 5
C. Ferguson, c g. Appleby, b M. Sturt 4
T. Ferguson, c N. West, b S. Gill 21
C. Tozer, c L. Armstrong, b M. Sturt 5
P. Reardon, not out 14
Bowling: S. Cooper 6-0-1-41, M. Henman 5-0-1-26, D. Thomas 7-0-1-23, M. Sturt, 10-1-3-29, S. Gill 9.3-0-3-48.
Tumut Plains won by 24 runs