The TravelSim Waratah’s second grade side have proved themselves as one of the best sides in this season’s competition by booking their place in the grand final. After finishing in third place during the regular season, Manly will not have to travel far as they take on first place Northern District in the grand final this weekend in a three day match.
The three-day match will be a test of stamina for both sides, as two-day matches have been the maximum during the normal season and finals series thus far. With a match of this kind, where a team has placed, or their previous matches against one another, is not as much of a weighting factor in the outcome. It will be purely down to the team that turns up on the day and is able to keep up the effort for the entirety of the match.
The Tahs may not have made as many runs as they would have liked to in their semi-final against Hawkesbury, with Logan Weston making the highest individual score of 52 runs in Manly’s total of 194 runs. However, a strong bowling attack brought the boys well and truly back into the game, bowling their opposition all out for 139 runs with Jake Garden grabbing three wickets, Andrew Jamieson and Sam Gainsford with two, and one wicket coming from Tom Kaye.
Northern District’s semi-final against Mosman saw them successfully chase Mosman’s total of 215 runs. They got the win at a much slower run rate, but in the finals series, that is all that is needed and they were rewarded with a spot in the grand final.
Joshua Miller is one to look out for from Northern District, after grabbing 29 wickets in 15 matches this season – the eighth most in the second grade competition. With the bat, Neil Kimberley is a player the Tahs will want to get out early, making 655 runs this season including 98 last week. However, our own Logan Weston has made even more, the second most in the competition with 794. Weston’s role in the grand final this weekend becomes even more essential coming up against a side who have members in their team who have some impressive records this season.
This weekend it will be essential for the Tahs to utilise their talent to dominate a skilful opposition side. The last time these sides faced each other was in round two, where Northern District managed to get the win over Manly after a disappointing batting performance for the Tahs. Manly will be looking back to what went wrong that weekend to ensure it does not happen in the grand final. They have proven themselves as a talented side, especially with their ability to come back into a game with an impressive bowling performance, and now it is time to put all Manly’s efforts into this weekend.
It is a big weekend for Manly’s second grade side, with a chance to crown themselves as 2017/2018 major premiers.