Mt Clear will take on Golden Point in the Ballarat Cricket Association firsts grand final.
Mounties progressed with a fighting 23-run semi-final win over reigning premier Wendouree at Alfredton on Sunday, while Golden Point cruised past North Ballarat by 177 runs at Wendouree.
Golden Point for the second match in a row was too powerful all round for North Ballarat, with Manjula De Zoysa a match-winner with 102 in a team tally of 6-302 on Saturday.
The Roosters were never in the hunt as they struggled to 125 against the minor premier.
Mt Clear had a much tougher time defending its 9-274 compiled on Saturday.
Wendouree took a slow and steady approach and at 2-176 the reigning had the run chase under control.
In a dramatic turn though, Mt Clear dismissed opener Ryan Simmonds, 69 (seven fours), Heath Pyke, 56 (six fours), and Tom Le Lievre cheaply for three in the space of 11 runs to change the complexion of the game.
Simmonds and Pyke had been extremely patient, being happy to absorb the heat applied by the Mounties’ attack in a 102-run third-wicket stand.
It took a run out to break them up, with Simmonds being found short of the crease.
Steve Nicholson then struck twice and suddenly Mt Clear, which last won a premiership in 2014, was all over Wendouree.
Jack Peeters, 49, and Matt Smith, 11, steadied things with a 24-run partnership before there was more drama with Liam Brady run out for just one to have the Red Caps 7-212.
Peeters played a lone hand to get Wendouree home, but a constant loss of wickets as the run rate rose was too much as it was out for a brave 251.
Ash George was a star with 4-45 to clean up the tail and two run out assists.
The experienced duo of Matt Ward, 80 (nine fours, three sixes), and Nathan Yates, 66 (five fours, two sixes), put Mt Clear on top on Saturday.
They added 96 for the third wicket with Ward playing the dominant role.
Yates and an aggressive Sam Giblett, 39 (five fours, one six) off 46 balls, then put on 61.
GOLDEN Point was in a different class to North Ballarat as it charged into its second Ballarat Cricket Association firsts grand final in three seasons on Sunday.
Point, which ended a 14-year premiership drought in 2015-16, reinforced why it has gone through this campaign unbeaten with an emphatic display in a semi-final at Wendouree.
Golden Point did momentarily get bogged down on Saturday, but Manjula De Zoysa ensured that changed with a century to guide the total to 6-302 – 177 more than North Ballarat could muster in reply.
The Roosters were always going to struggle to get near this, given it had made just 85 against Point in the last home and away round.
Wickets fell at a regular rate until at 9-83 it was all but over. Opener Leigh Lorenzen was North’s best batsman all season and again stood out with 32 (five fours).
Last men standing Adam Eddy, 30, and Ash McCafferty, 16, provided some lofty hitting to get the Roosters to 125 and delay the inevitable.
Daniel White tidied up the innings to finish with 4-13 off nine offers and Andrew Warrick took 4-38 with the support of wicketkeeper Lachlan Anderson with seven catches.
De Zoysa smacked 102 off 141 balls with 14 fours and one six – sharing a key partnership with youngster Sam Harris, 53 not out (six fours).
Harris, who made his firsts debut in round nine this season, joined De Zoysa with the score at 4-110 and was part of a 129-run stand.
Up to this contribution, North Ballarat had managed to keep the Golden Point under control, with the hard-hitting Stephen O’Loughlin, 51 (10 fours), the only batsman to get going early.
Harris and Andrew Warrick, 32no (three fours, two sixes), then rounded out the day with a seventh-wicket stand of 53.
GOLDEN POINT 6-302 v NORTH BALLARAT 125
Golden Point 1st Innings
N BAGLEY lbw b McCafferty 13
S O'LOUGHLIN c McCafferty b Rogers 51
J WHITE c Priyankara b Price 20
M DE ZOYSA c Parker b Price 102
S OGILVIE c Nolan b McCafferty 6
S HARRIS not out 53
D WHITE c Parker b Price 10
A WARRICK not out 32
Fall: 53, 75, 90, 110, 239, 249.
Bowling: A McCafferty 22-6-54-2, A Eddy 13-5-31-0, L Lorenzen 5-0-29-0, P Priyankara 7-1-34-0, W Rogers 14-1-63-1, J Crosbie 11-6-25-0, D Price 8-1-55-3.
L LORENZEN c Ogilvie b D White 32
J CROSBIE c Anderson b Warrick 0
W ROGERS c Anderson b Ogilvie 0
S WRIGHT c Anderson b Warrick 4
M NOLAN c Anderson b McDonald 3
P PRIYANKARA c Anderson b Warrick 29
L PARKER c J White b D White 3
H MCGREGOR lbw b D White 0
D PRICE c Anderson b Warrick 2
A EDDY not out 30
A MCCAFFERTY c Anderson b D White 16
Fall: 1, 6, 35, 41, 47, 54, 68, 76, 83, 125.
Bowling: A Warrick 13-4-38-4, S Ogilvie 6-3-19-1, D White 9-5-13-4, D McDonald 4-1-17-1, M Harris 4-1-13-0, M De Zoysa 1-0-11-0, S O'Loughlin 1-0-9-0.
MT CLEAR 9-274 d WENDOUREE 251
S NICHOLSON c Brady b Wall 1
D THOMSON c Pyke b Peeters 11
M WARD c Pyke b Simmonds 80
N YATES c Pyke b Le Lievre 66
S GIBLETT b Le Lievre 39
C TOWNROW run out 24
A GEORGE st Pyke b Butler 3
G TREVENEN c Pyke b Wall 6
D FLETCHER not out 11
D ACHISON b Le Lievre 5
T GRIFFITH not out 9
Fall: 1, 47, 143, 204, 211, 216, 238, 243, 257.
Bowling: J Butler 14-3-46-1, J Wall 13-4-39-2, T Le Lievre 22-0-86-3, R Simmonds 21-5-49-1, J Peeters 10-3-43-1.
C ROSCHOLLER c Giblett b Yates 13
R SIMMONDS run out 69
G WEBB c Nicholson b Yates 31
H PYKE c Griffith b Nicholson 54
T LE LIEVRE lbw b Nicholson 3
M SMITH lbw b George 11
J PEETERS c Thomson b George 49
L BRADY run out 0
C JENKINS st Ward b George 1
J BUTLER c Achison b George 3
J WALL not out 4
Fall: 26, 74, 176, 179, 187, 211, 212, 225, 231, 251.
Bowling: N Yates 16-9-31-2, D Thomson 10-2-44-0, D Fletcher 11-3-32-0, G Trevenen 11-4-29-0, S Nicholson 16-2-60-2, A George 11.1-1-45-4.