Northern Rivers teams have again given a great account of themselves across various state championships.
The under-16 male side returned for more Dowling Shield action, but were unable to play on Monday due to a wet wicket.
It did not dampen the team’s spirits though, with the outfit engineering a thrilling victory in Tuesday’s quarter-final.
After winning the toss and sending Metro West in to bat, Cricket Shepparton products Ethan Baxter (3-8) and Aidan Lloyd (2-7) took a wrecking ball to the opposition’s batting line-up to reduce it to 116 all-out.
But after falling to 9-75 in reply, Rivers’ chances seemed over.
Riley Mason and Patrick Cormican had other ideas.
The pair put on 42 for the last wicket to help their side scrape home, with Mason (28 not out) just edging Cormican (24 not out) for productivity.
Rivers could not repeat the performance in yesterday’s semi-final, going down by 62 runs.
Meanwhile, the under-14 male team won two of its three preliminary clashes to qualify first in their pool for today’s quarter-finals.
Mackenzie Cowley (66 runs at an average of 22) and Hugh Hyde (six wickets at 6.83) have led the way so far in the tournament, and will be crucial again in the knockout contest against the Western Waves.
Last week, the under-18 male outfit fell at the quarter-final hurdle, the under-14 female side finished runner-up after losing the decider and the under-16 female team booked its spot in the grand final.
Shepparton United’s Lilly Bond smashed an unbeaten 69 in the semi-final to prove decisive in her side’s success.
Rivers will play Metro Inner East on January 28 for the title at Box Hill City Oval.
Mardie Hamilton (six wickets at 6.67), Madison Albers (five at 8.8) and Arnika McGregor (five at 10) have been deadly with the ball in the tournament and will look to again perform well in the final.