Country Week finals on debut 

GRASSMERE Cricket Association has marked its Bendigo Country Week debut with a grand final berth.

It will play an undefeated Goulburn Murray Colts side in today's division three decider despite losing its fourth-round match to Northern United by two runs yesterday.

Maryborough's 16-run loss to Goulburn Murray worked in GCA's favour, presenting it with an opportunity for a fairytale finish.

With four of the six teams locked with 2-2 win-loss records, the second grand final spot came down to points.

GCA finished second on the ladder with 41.04 points, edging out Northern United on 39.32.

Second innings runs against Northern District Colts on day two and three wickets in the second innings against Northern United proved invaluable for GCA.

Skipper Tim Bryce said making the decider had surpassed GCA's expectations.

"That is fantastic," he said.

"It is good for Grassmere to be back on the map."

Bryce said GCA would go into today's grand final as underdog but was quietly confident.

"Goulburn Murray, I think they are pretty young and we are pretty experienced," he said.

"We have a lot of young kids too and they are fielding and bowling well and our top order is stepping up with the bat."

GCA dismissed Northern United for 145 yesterday, with Bryce (4-42), Shamus O'Beirne (4-52) and John Barnes (2-14) effective with the ball.

It stumbled in reply and was all out for 143.

Jason Elliott top scored for GCA, before he was run out in the 41st over for 45.

Aaron Peterson (22) and Bryce (21) were the other notable GCA bats.

"You need to bat in partnerships and it didn't fall our way but we live to fight another day," Bryce said.

O'Beirne added another three scalps to his country week campaign, as Northern United made 3-67 in its second dig off 11 overs.

justine.mc@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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