Openers set standard for Lakers

SOUTH COAST CRICKET

Shellharbour ended a three-game losing skid and Lake Illawarra booked their place in the South Coast one-day final with round nine wins on Saturday. 

 Two games were washed out as heavy rain struck pre-match at Jamberoo for their home clash with Albion Park, while only a handful of overs were possible at Cavalier Park for Kiama against Oak Flats.

 At Croome Cricket Oval, Shellharbour opener Ben Brooks (54) celebrated his first half century in top grade in a five-wicket win over The Rail (131).

 The Razorbacks (131) were saved by Andrew Warren’s 65, but the small target was no problem for Shellharbour with Brooks supported by Alex Brown (30) and Nick Formosa (25).

‘‘It’s been a tough few weeks but it’s good to get a win,’’ Shellharbour skipper Ben Mitchell said.

‘‘In the New Year it’s two-day cricket and that suits us and I think you’ll see the best of our side then.’’

 Lake Illawarra sealed a spot against Oak Flats in this Saturday’s   one-day final with a high-scoring four-wicket victory over Kookas at Howard Fowles Oval.

 In a match reduced by rain to 41 overs, Kookas knew a win would put them in the final and batted well making 196, led by a 119-run opening partnership from Darren Zampa (77) and Scott Peachman (45).

Jamie Crowhurst took 4-27 for the Lakers who batted brilliantly with four players making 25 or more and reaching the target with three overs to spare.

 Nathan Tyrrell continued his  form top-scoring and was praised by skipper Shane Cody for his unbeaten 65.

The Oak Flats versus Lakers one-day final is a rematch of last season’s final, won by the Rats, with Lakers gaining revenge in the premiership two-day decider.

With Albion Park left frustrated by only seven points for a draw, the Lakers leapfrogged the Park into the top four.

Ladder: Oak Flats 98, Shellharbour 94, Kookas 83,  Lake Illawarra 83, Albion Park 80, Kiama 55, Gerringong/Jamberoo 55, The Rail 41. 

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