Time to reassess

Forest-Stanley’s Mitch Bellinger targets the stumps of Marrawah’s Jacob Willie, having taken a hat-trick earlier in the day during the A-Grade match at Stanley. Picture: Bodey Dittloff.

CHCA. Finals places have been decided in the competition’s top grade with one round remaining in the season, while others continue to fight for prime position.

For the second year running Forest-Stanley will head directly into the A-Grade grand final and earn a week off in the process, showing they haven’t dropped their intensity with a crushing 10-wicket win over Marrawah at home on Saturday.

Demons coach Mitch Bellinger (3/21) ripped the stumps out of the ground with three consecutive balls to earn a hat-trick, while a flawless spell from Kade Bellinger (4/3) and a contribution from Brandon Tonks (2/18) rounded out the demolition.

While Marrawah’s David Blake (10) top-scored in an undermanned side, the Demons’ opening pair of Jimmy Martin and Tyler Kadow rarely looked worried in chasing down the 43-run target to have the match over by 12.30pm.

Meanwhile, Trowutta-Combine will face the Bulls in the elimination semi, with an unbeaten 148 to in-form batsman Aaron Tuxworth a highlight in their 157-run win over Irishtown.

Nick Littlejohn (62) and Dean Tuson (47no) were also strong with the bat on Pink Stumps Day, and while the Shamrocks showed some resistance to post 163 in reply, knocks to Nick Stubbs (42) and Kade McLaren (25) weren’t enough to worry TC.

Standings are marginally closer in B-Grade, with the Cannons dropping vital points away to the Shamrocks in a 46-run loss and the Demons taking advantage, opening up the gap to six points thanks to an eight-wicket win.

Forest-Stanley’s Sam Poke led the grade with impressive figures of 6/9 from five overs, with Irishtown’s Ben Revell (34) the standout from a batting perspective.

Trowutta-Combine now have to earn a strong double bonus-point win over the Demons if they are any chance of clinching top spot, while a loss would give the Bulls an opportunity to claim second and a choice of venue.

The tussle for finals places couldn’t be closer at U/16 level, with this week’s opponents TC and FS even on 26 points whereas Marrawah and Irishtown remain in the same situation for third on 18 points each.

Unbeaten scores of 85 and 44 to Irishtown’s Ethan Jackson and Brodie Davison helped their side to a two-wicket upset over TC, while half-centuries to FS batsmen Kalien Oates and Isaac Perry and Bulls’ Ryan Nibbs led to a high-scoring affair.

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