Finley’s Division One team have secured a home semi final in the Murray Valley Cricket Association after a hard fought victory over Cobram on Saturday.
Winning the toss and batting first the Cats got off to a solid start before Adnan Malik was bowled for nine.
Cougar McGrath and Paul Massingham continued their purple patch of form with the bat putting on 58 before McGrath was dismissed.
After the loss of some quick wickets the Cats looked to be in trouble, however Russell Anderson and Duncan Clarke ensured the Tigers bowlers would be made to work for their wickets, both reaching 23 runs before eventually being dismissed.
Some lower order hitting from Damon Anderson and Anthony King moved the score along and the Cats finished their 40 overs 8/180.
The Cats got off to a perfect start with the ball with King (1/29 off eight) and Clarke (1/18 off six) getting key wickets early.
With the score at 2/23, the 180 looked a long way off for the Tigers, however Brodie Seccull (16) and Bryan Eddy (40) kept the score moving, but when both batsmen were dismissed with the score under 100 the Cats regained the upper hand.
The wicket of Jacob Aitkin (0) started a collapse for the Tigers and Finley’s bowlers made them pay for any rash shots.
Malik (3/20 off six), McGrath (2/23 off five) and Massingham (2/15 off eight) were among the leading wicket takers for Finley and eventually the Tigers were dismissed in the 39th over for 147.
The Cats host Cobram-Yarroweyah United in what will be a good hit out just two weeks before finals start.
Finley’s Division Two team fell short against an experienced Nathalia outfit.
Batting first the Cats were in trouble with the three Brain boys — Jed (0), Jasper (12) and Zac (seven) — back in the sheds with the score on 26.
When Marcus Anderson fell for seven with the score on 37 it was imperative the Cats work hard to bat out their overs.
Tom Isedale (27) and Shadeau Brain (15) kept the score ticking along before Brain joined his bothers in the pavilion.
Clay Webb (27) joined Isedale and they continued to put the bad balls away and when both fell in quick succession it was going to be hard for the Cats to gain the momentum back.
With the Purples’ bowlers hitting their spots the Cats were dismissed for 112 in the 28th over.
The Cats needed to get the upper hand with the ball and young speedster Bailey Coombs (2/17 off six) provided the best possible start claiming a wicket in his first over.
The Cats’ bowlers toiled hard, however the Nathalia batsmen had all the answers.
Lloyd Buchanan was brutal at times and brought up his 50 just before the Purples passed the target.
The loss means that the Cats require results to go their way and they need to beat CYU in the last round to have any hope of playing finals this season.
This week Finley have the bye.