HILLGROVE Colts won a berth in the Armidale first grade cricket grand final when it humbled Ex-Services at Lambert Park on Saturday.
After routing Servies for 74 Hillgrove then lost just the one wicket in reaching their winning target in the 17th over.
They will now play Armidale City in this Saturday’s first grade grand final.
Hillgrove skipper Brad King was a delighted captain after the nine-wicket win.
“It was a big win,” King told The Leader.
“A good all-round bowling performance, everyone shared in the wickets.”
Cameron Wood (3-31 off 11) and Andrew Curry (2-11 off 6) opened the bowling and made the early breakthroughs before Trent Snell (3-14 off 7), Matt Schaefer (1-17) and Bentley Cropper (1-0) cleaned up the rest.
Luke Brown (16) Cody Graham (15), Brad Rafferty (11) and Scott Graham (17) all got starts but couldn’t manufacture any more.
Matty Schaefer (22) was the only Hillgrove batsman dismissed with Michael Dawson (34no) and Josh Croft (10no) reaching the small target
“There wasn’t much in the deck, just one of those days where the ball was swinging about a bit,” King said.
He is looking forward to Saturday’s grand final against City.
“Should be a good game,” he said.
“The last two weeks we’ve been pretty good, we’ve been playing a bit of cricket instead of being off and on like it had been so these two good wins have given us a bit of momentum for the grand final.”
Hillgrove will also be hoping to make it a winning farewell for top order batsman Adam O’Sullivan.
“He’s moving to Cairns in a couple of weeks,” King said.
“He’s got a job up there, starts about the 16th (of April) I think.”