Grassmere Cricket Association is set for a big final four weeks, as ladder equation heats up

TIGHT FINISH: Killarney captain Brayden Buchanan is hopeful his side can hold onto top spot on the GCA division one two-dayer ladder. Picture: Rob Gunstone
TIGHT FINISH: Killarney captain Brayden Buchanan is hopeful his side can hold onto top spot on the GCA division one two-dayer ladder. Picture: Rob Gunstone

SIX TEAMS, four finals spots, two games left.

That’s the equation facing Killarney, Panmure, Woolsthorpe, Purnim, Hawkesdale and Wangoom as they approach the final two Grassmere Cricket Association division one two-dayers over the next four Saturdays.

Every win becomes vital, as 15 points separates ladder-leader Killarney (42) from Wangoom (27) in sixth.

Killarney captain Brayden Buchanan said the ladder squeeze showed the closeness of the sides in the association’s top-grade.

“It says a lot about the competition when you have got six teams and out of those six all of them can finish in the top two,” he said.

Killarney is one of two sides to play two finals chances. Its faces Purnim, which sits fourth, on Saturday and sixth-placed Wangoom. The Bulls are the other side to face two finals fancies, in the Crabs and Hawkesdale.

The bye could also have a significant impact on the final ladder positions, with Panmure (second) and Woolsthorpe (third) the last two teams to have the break.

The Bulldogs play Yambuk, while the Warriors play Grassmere in their final games.

BYE TROUBLE: Panmure skipper Paddy Mahony said the bye would have an interesting impact on the final ladder positions of his side. Picture: Rob Gunstone

BYE TROUBLE: Panmure skipper Paddy Mahony said the bye would have an interesting impact on the final ladder positions of his side. Picture: Rob Gunstone

Panmure captain Paddy Mahony said his side’s performance last week would impact how it approached its final game against the Buks.

“We aren't looking too far ahead,” Mahony said. “After our bye we will get a better picture of the ladder, then we will focus on doing everything to win our last game.”

In the other deciding matches, Wangoom plays the Bulls and Yambuk, while Hawkesdale will also face Purnim and finish the regular season against Mailors Flat.

Cats captain Kurt Buchanan said his side had concentrated on winning as many games as possible.

“We have known since Christmas that if we dropped one game we would be out of finals contention,” he said. 

“So we have been up and about trying to win as many games as we could.

“We haven’t been thinking about finals, we have just been trying to get the bonus points from our second innings, as every run and wicket is vital later on.”

Brayden Buchanan highlighted how important a top two finish would be.

“It's a massive advantage, especially first as you get home game and play fourth,” he said.

Mahony agreed.

“We want to finish top two and secure the benefits that come with finishing there,” he said.

“You just want to get in there, as anything could happen in finals.”

Current ladder:

  1. Killarney – 42.33 points –  2 outright wins, 2 wins, 2 losses
  2. Panmure – 40.59 points – 1 outright win, 4 wins, 2 losses, 1 bye remaining
  3. Woolsthorpe – 37.01 points –  5 wins, 2 outright losses, 1 bye remaining 
  4. Purnim – 33.03 points – 1 outright win, 3 wins, 2 losses
  5. Hawkesdale – 29.38 points – 1 outright win, 2 wins, 3 losses
  6. Wangoom – 27.91 points – 1 outright win, 2 wins, 3 losses