Northern Rivers aren’t going to the semi-finals after all.
Despite winning all four of their games at Cricket Victoria under-18 state championships, Rivers controversially didn’t qualify for today's top-four stage.
The winners of those two games will go through to the final to be played at the MCG on February 5.
A change in format from last year’s championships meant only the ladder leaders of the four pool groups won through to the knockout stage.
Pool one teams played sides from pool two during the carnival.
Rivers finished second in their group, with Metropolitan North West topping pool two and won through after victories in their four games and having a better net run rate.
Under 18 Male State Championships:— Northern Rivers (@CV_NthnRivers) January 12, 2017
The boys won all four matches but missed out on the Semi Finals due to Net Run Rate. Great week, boys!
It is a tough pill to swallow for Rivers, who enjoyed a successful week with some top performances from its players.
Metropolitan West finished on top in pool one, despite only winning two of its four games, while South East Country progressed to the next stage with three wins.
Northern Rivers’ Ben DeAraugo said it was a disappointing for the team not to qualify, but the group played exceptionally in all of its games.
‘‘Speaking to the coaches, they had done the sums going into the last game and they needed to score about 325 to win and obviously didn’t get there,’’ DeAraugo said.
‘‘It was still a very good win in the last round and the guys played very well all the way through.’’
Karramomus opener Andrew Poppa had an outstanding tournament, hitting 184 runs at an average of 61.3 with a top score of 93 not out against Mallee Murray on Tuesday.
Central Park-St Brendan’s Josh Larkin was dominant, scoring 177 runs at 59.
Larkin also managed to grab five wickets at 20.6, while Kyabram’s Cade Mueller hit terrific knocks of 67 and 49.
Rivers won their final game yesterday against Barwon by four wickets at Mordialloc’s Walter Galt Reserve.
Larkin proved to be the star, taking two wickets and backing it up with the bat.
Barwon batted first after winning the toss, making its way to 9-184 from 50 overs as opening bowlers Mitch Cleeland and Bailey Goodwin took five wickets between them.
Larkin, an off-spinner, bowled nine valuable overs for figures of 2-32.
But Larkin’s best work was yet to come as he combined with Poppa for a crucial fourth-wicket stand.
The pair put on 54 during their partnership, with Larkin (67) top scoring in a patient knock, while Poppa’s 50 opening the batting proved vital as wickets fell around him early.
Rivers finished their 50 overs on 6-192.