A RED-HOT Sedgwick side will look to cap its rebuild when it meets Spring Gully in this weekend’s Emu Valley Cricket Association grand final.
After struggling for much of the 2000s, the Rams have been one of the league’s success stories in recent years with several finals appearances since moving to new facilities at Club Court.
In that time they have recruited heavily and this year a star-studded lineup entered the season with most expecting them to win the premiership in a canter.
And while it hasn’t all been plain sailing, they are hitting form at the right time of year heading into a clash with the Crows.
Sedgwick completed an authoritative victory over Mandurang to reach the decider, smashing 364 led by yet another Matt Dwyer century and 83 from all-rounder Simon Marwood.
Dwyer smashed 11 boundaries and eight sixes in his 115, while Marwood bashed 83 including 12 fours and two sixes.
The Rams then took the unusual step of utilising 10 bowlers in dismissing Mandurang for 203, Marwood the best of them with 3/39 from his 13 overs.
Spring Gully was also impressive in victory, firing with the bat to complete a 98-run win over Maiden Gully.
The hosts reversed the result of the final round of the home and away season, in which Gully proved too good.
Opener Brannon Stanford made 77 for the Crows while Rhys Webb and Byron Perrin both topped 50 as the hosts made an imposing score of 285.
After Perrin and James Fox struck early win the ball, Maiden Gully managed just 187 in reply, 19 runs more than the score that secured them victory the week prior.
Each of the Crows seven bowlers claimed a wicket, Jesse Marciano and Nick Skeen each picking up a pair of scalps.
Adding further intrigue to the clash is the fact that Spring Gully has had success against the Rams this season, beating them in round four and making 239 on day one of a drawn game in round 11.
In the latter of the two matchups, all but two Gully batsmen made double figures, including number 10 James Fox who top scored with 42.
Both sides are aiming to claim a flag that has eluded them in the past few years, Sedgwick having lost the 2014/15 decider to Mandurang in thrilling fashion, while Spring Gully made the grand final the following year and lost to United.
Maiden Gully will host the division one grand final, with play to start at 1.30pm on Saturday and Sunday.
In division two, Maiden Gully plays Emu Creek at Cal Gully Oval, and the two sections of division three see Mandurang face Emu Creek and West Bendigo play Golden Gully.
– Joel Peterson