Victorian Premier Cricket action is reaching the pointy end of the season and with it the number of district exports whose campaigns remain alive is dwindling.
But Central Park-St Brendan’s product Hamish Winter-Irving continues to fly the flag for the Goulburn Valley in the men’s firsts.
It was a local derby in the first round of finals as Winter-Irving’s Footscray took on Katandra export Daniel Sartori and his Monash Tigers.
Tigers captain Sartori was forced to pad up after losing the toss and being sent in to bat, but he produced a sterling effort at the top of the order to anchor his team’s innings.
Facing 117 deliveries in a 167-minute stay at the crease, Sartori top scored for his side with 47, which included six boundaries.
His departure at 3-122 triggered a collapse from his middle order though, with the Tigers losing 5-23 before the tail scratched its way to 197 all-out.
Winter-Irving could not oust Sartori from the crease, but took the first and last Tigers wickets to fall and finished with figures of 2-45 from 16.2 overs.
The all-rounder was not required with the bat — thanks largely to the in-form Travis Dean (75 not out) — as Footscray chased the required runs down with five wickets in hand.
The triumph has set Footscray on a collision course with minor premier Fitzroy-Doncaster in next week’s preliminary final, with a spot in the decider on the line.
Familiar faces will take part in the women’s premier and reserves one-day grand finals next week.
It was another regional derby in the top grade as Tallygaroopna’s Teagan Brett and Moama’s Chloe Rafferty faced off.
Brett snared 2-25 with the ball for Prahran to help dismiss Essendon-Maribyrnong Park for 147, with Rafferty making two runs at number 11.
Brett was solid with the bat, reaching 15 from 59 deliveries, but was out stumped trying to lift the pace of her side’s innings.
Rafferty was damaging with the ball in taking 3-18 from 7.2 overs, and it proved enough to help rout Prahran for just 90 and book a spot in the big dance.
Rafferty’s twin Paris dominated the reserves semi-final for the same club as her sister.
After taking 2-7 from four overs to restrict Plenty Valley to 106, Paris calmly led the chase from number five, making an unbeaten 32 from 79 deliveries in the six-wicket win.