Court House has booked a spot in this year’s Gunnedah District Cricket Association (GDCA) grand final after beating Mornington by three wickets at Kitchener Oval on Saturday afternoon.

It will set up a replay of last year’s grand final with Court House scheduled to play Albion at Kitchener to determine the GDCA’s best team for 2021-22.

Having won the toss, Court House sent in Mornington to bat with Justin Carter (2) and Andrew Johns (3) early casualties at the top of the order.

With the team 2-5, Ryan Smith was next at the crease, adding stability to Mornington’s top order. Joined by Henry Johns, the pair put together a 37-run partnership before Johns fell for 12 runs off 28 balls. 

It was then an uphill battle for Smith and Mornington with Aaron Condrick falling for four runs and Matthew Agostino for 13.  

Mornington’s largest partnership of the innings was between Smith and captain Rhyce Kliendienst with 54 runs together. Kliendienst was then dismissed for 26 as Smith joined him in the sheds shortly after. Ben Hennessy and Joshua Langdon were the two remaining batters as Mornington finished 7-147 after the maximum 40 overs were bowled by Court House.

Vincent Winsor (3-35) was the standout from Court House’s bowling attack claiming three wickets in seven overs bowled. Oscar King, Jaycob Price and Braithen Winsor each picked up one, along with one run out. In reply to Mornington’s 152 run target, Court House had a slow start with openers Kyle Gallen (4) and Grant (0) McIlveen dismissed in quick succession, leaving the side 2-4. 

Court House sent in King and Blake Small to help the side recover and chase down the target.

A 34 run partnership was broken when King was dismissed by Kliendienst after being caught by Johns.

The father-son pairing of Ken and Keaton Walters saw the duo manage one run in total as Kliendienst picked up the first five wickets of Court House’s innings.

Winsor quickly followed, sending in Price who partnered Small for 68 runs. Price was then dismissed for a quick-fire 46 runs off 32 balls by Lachie Straney. 

Peter McCormack joined Small at the crease, facing 41 balls for four runs as Court House claimed victory and progressed into the grand final.

Small’s 52 runs from 104 balls which included four fours and three sixes was enough for Court House to chase down Mornington’s target in 35.2 overs.

While McCormack had a low strike rate, he guided Small towards the victory as Court House now prepares for a grand final replay against Albion from the 2020-21 season.

Although the side has struggled at times throughout the season with availabilities and form, it is the perfect chance to avenge its defeat from last year, having beaten Albion in its last match-up of the season.

Albion captain, Brad Cady’s 60 runs wasn’t enough as Court House won by three runs with Andy Mack the final dismissal for two runs.

However, Albion won’t be an easy target, leading the GDCA from start to finish and by far the strongest team throughout the campaign, finding different ways to win games. The match will start at 1pm.

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