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MORTLAKE and Noorat will battle for South West Cricket’s (SWC) division one title after they both trounced higher-ranked opponents in the semi-finals on the weekend.
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The Cats, who finished third on the ladder, thumped second-placed host Camperdown by almost 300 runs.

Noorat, which finished fourth, upset minor premier Terang by 115 runs in the first innings.

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Therefore this weekend’s grand final will be played between third and fourth, while the stunned first and second are left to lament what could have been.

Noorat captain Nick Kenna said his side was ready for the challenge.

“Mortlake is the best side in it,” he said.

“They will be hard to beat.

“But we are happy to make the grand final. We haven’t won one for six years.”

Noorat won the toss at Terang Turf and elected to bat.

“You’ve always got to bat first in a final,” Kenna said.

“You have to put the runs on the board early.”

Kenna managed 60 and Michael Sargeant produced 17 not out.

But a Tim Keane clinic, which featured six wickets for 44 off 18.4 overs, including six maidens, restricted the visitors to 178 after 57.4 overs.

“I thought that was a par score,” Kenna said. “We were confident of beating them.

“We thought we had the better team.”

Terang stepped up to the crease to commence its chase but instead faced a barrage from the Noorat bowling artillery.

Opening bat Jay Wynd dug in for 25 runs but he had little support.

Fellow opener Liam Venn was sent straight back to the sheds for a duck, before big-hitting captain Ben Grinter followed uncharacteristically for four, leaving Terang 2-6.

Terang was looking shaky at 7-56 after 17 overs, when stumps was called.

Nothing changed when play resumed yesterday, as Noorat flattened Terang for 63.

Medium-pacer Warren Attrill took 5-25, with able support from Stephen Staunton (3-27) and Chris Baxter (2-4).

To add insult to injury, Noorat marched back to the crease and produced 1-87 before the win was declared at 2.50pm.

Grinter said his side was well and truly outclassed.

“They just outplayed us,” he said. “They bowled really well against us. They bowled really good line and length.

“We didn’t want to lose too many wickets in the afternoon but then we were 7-56.

“We didn’t really know what to expect.

“Our two games were washed out during the season so we hadn’t actually played them.”

Despite the loss, Grinter still managed to take some positives from the 2011-12 journey.

“We had a good season,” he said. “We had four or five under 16s come through and we rotated about 21 players through division one.

“It’s just unfortunate that we couldn’t finish it off.”

Meanwhile, two centuries boosted Mortlake towards an unreachable total against Camperdown.

The Cats posted a whopping 377 at the Camperdown Turf, buoyed by captain Todd Lamont’s offering of 102 and Neil Kelly’s match-high 127.

Mortlake also had solid contributions from Craig Fowler (29), Lachlan Cumming (23 not out) and Tim Delaney (25).

Camperdown’s Matthew Jeffreys and Shane Stephens took three wickets each.

But the host was no match for Mortlake yesterday.

Stranded at 6-33, captain Chris Laurie (24) and Simon Richardson (21), batting from seventh and eighth respectively, were unable to save Camperdown, which was all out for 82.

Mortlake’s Clinton Baker claimed 4-18, while Lamont collected 3-12.

This weekend’s grand final between Mortlake and Noorat will be played at Terang.

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