Seconds bat way to Grand Final

THE Bankstown Sports Bulldogs will take on Western Suburbs in the Second Grade Grand Final after a hard-fought win against last year’s finalists Northern District.

Captain Mitch Hinds was asked to field, and it seemed like the wicket was full of spiders for both sides.
Justin Felsch finished with a stunning 5 wickets for just 44 runs off 28.2 overs, which included 6 maidens, while Mitch Constantinou was unlucky not to snare more, finishing with 2 for 37 off 23 overs.
Not to be outdone, paceman Ayden Brown chipped in with 2 for 18. Having rolled the visitors for what seemed like a miserly total of just 137 off 69.2 overs, the Bulldog’s run chase was on with plenty of time and overs remaining in the first day.
Again, Felsch showed his all-round ability by top-scoring with 52 when batting in the middle order.
This was after opener Riley Kingsell set the pace with a hard-earned 45 off 85 balls. Unfortunately, many other Bulldogs batsmen fell. At the end of Saturday, the Dogs were 7 for 107 – still needing a further 31 runs to win on first innings.
At the resumption of play on Sunday, the Dogs finally passed the Northern District’s total – but only managed to be 11 runs ahead when all out for 148.
With 51 overs still to bowled on Sunday afternoon, the Dogs either had to get the runs and win outright or not be bowled out before surpassing Northern District’s total. Chasing a likely home grand final next weekend, the Bulldogs’ batsmen knuckled down.
Again, Kingsell showed his class with a stoic 54 off 90 balls along with Ryan Freeman (22) and Alex Kouventaris (18 not out).
Hard-hitting ‘keeper Cameron Middleton (20 not out off 17 balls) had the honour of belting three sixes to get the Dogs the outright victory.
But it was Felsch’s first innings performance that ensured the Dogs march on to the three-day Grand Final at Bankstown Oval on Saturday, Sunday and Monday against Western Suburbs, who defeated minor premiers Manly-Warringah.