Uni snares last-ball thriller

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University's Ryan Holcroft smashed the winning run off the final ball of the match to beat Balgownie and set up a clash with Keira in this weekend’s Illawarra Cricket final.

Uni chased down 181 off 63 overs at North Dalton Park on Sunday, as Bally’s brilliant unbeaten season ended in heartbreak.

Uni were 6-178, needing four to win off Cam Nupier’s final over of the match.

Nupier bowled superbly taking a wicket and giving up only a run, plus two byes from the first five balls.

With Taun Stanham – who made a brilliant unbeaten 50 at the other end – Holcroft swung the final ball away to win the game for the Students.

‘‘It took some courage from our guys to do that,’’ Uni skipper Mitch Calder said.

‘‘We backed ourselves, never dropped our heads and won an amazing game.’’

After winning a handy toss, Bally were 0-74, but then lost 6-54 before pushing on to make 181 early on day two.

Josh Hill (43) was a key contributor with wickets falling around him, with the top four Bally batsmen unable to convert on good starts.

Uni medium-pacer Mitch Hearn took 4-31, which included a nine over spell of 4-6, while spinner Vijay Karthik took 3-35 off a remarkable 30 overs.

Uni, who finished the season in fourth spot, will take on Keira at North Dalton Park for the title after the Lions thrashed third-placed Dapto by 163-runs in the other semi.

Keira were beaten in the premiership decider 12 months ago and are chasing their first two-day title since the 1987-88 season.

The Lions overpowered Dapto, posting 9-297 - led by skipper Graeme Batty (50), Doug Murphy (79) and Jono Cook (83) - then dismissed Dapto for 134.

Pat Hammond took 5-46 for Dapto, while Richard Marsh (63) top-scored with the bat.

Lincoln Bendall-Moon (4-17) and Cook (3-47) starred with the ball for Keira.

In the Second Grade final, University will take on Keira at Figtree Oval, while Dapto meet Wests Illawarra in Third Grade at Keira Oval.

Uni Gold take on Corrimal Red in Fourth Grade at Figtree Oval No 2.

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