TWO superb individual performances – one with the bat and one with the ball – set up Hastings River’s four-wicket win over Macleay on Sunday at Oxley Oval.
Top-order batsman Ben Marron led the way with 70 after Paul Stait claimed 4-17 with the ball as Macleay were bundled out for 125.
The hosts then cruised to victory in the 23rd over despite a middle-order collapse of 4-17 with victory in sight.
Captain Matt Day admitted it was satisfying to book their place in the final on February 24 at Oxley Oval.
“We made hard work of the 126 we were chasing,” he said.
“We lost the last four wickets in a hurry, which we probably wouldn’t have done in a different game situation due to a more relaxed attitude.”
Day was impressed with the effort of Stait who bowled several unplayable deliveries in his eight-over spell.
“The ball was singing in the air and off the pitch, so it wasn’t a bad toss to lose,” he said.
“Staity was super.”
Alan Best (1-10 off four overs), Dylan Lewis (2-11 off five overs) also bowled miserly spells.
The final will see Hastings take on Manning after recent competition heavyweights Gloucester went down in Taree.