A LACHIE Hawkins’ hat-trick helped South West book its Horsham Under 15 Country Week grand final spot yesterday.
South West will play Warrnambool Gold in the decider at City Oval.
Both sides were undefeated after four rounds.
Hawkins was the catalyst in South West’s 61-run win against Portland at Cornell Park.
He finished with impressive figures of 4-6.
South West coach Chris Huffadine said Hawkins — a right-arm medium-pacer — “bowled it straight”.
“The first was lbw and the second and third bowled, so it was quite comprehensive,” he said.
Huffadine said Portland provided tough competition which would help South West in its title quest today.
South West made 5-149 and restricted Portland to 88 in reply.
Warrnambool Gold recorded a hard-fought 21-run win against Warrnambool Blue at City Oval on its way to the grand final.
Gold trio Liam Brown (51), Brody Couch (35) and Jake Hetherington (25) guided it to 163.
Blue was gallant in its chase, all out for 142.
Gold coach Andrew Thomson, who questioned the reasoning behind scheduling the two Warrnambool teams against one another, said his side’s total was just below par but proved good enough.
“Couch and Brown came together at 3-28 in the 11th over and put on 73 — it was probably the difference between the sides in the end,” he said.
“They both batted well. Brown got run out when we were on 101. He looked like he was going to make a ton.”
Thomson said Blue pair Jack Knight (19) and Joe McKinnon (34) tipped the momentum their side’s way, putting on a 62-run third-wicket stand.
But Thomson said Gold again took charge.
Thomson said Charlie Locke took a “absolute blinder” of a catch at gully to dismiss Willem Drew, who made 21, and put Blue on the backfoot at 113.
Couch added to his strong batting display, taking 4-19 to be the pick of Gold’s bowlers.
Hamilton District notched a four-wicket win against Wimmera-Mallee at Sunnyside, while host association Horsham had the bye.