ST PATRICK’S has stormed into its third successive Provincial grand final with a 34-run win over Tallangatta.
Patties, who will contest the first, second and third grade deciders, successfully defended 227 at Xavier Oval yesterday and will take on Lavington in the A-Grade grand final this weekend.
St Pat’s coach Heath Naughton said the club’s ability to keep “toiling away” had been vital in its run to three straight deciders.
“Our boys just always keep battling away,” Naughton said.
“We don’t rely on four or five guys to win it for us.
“Tallangatta is a top side but our bowlers were tremendous.”
Paul Coughlin took 6-74 on Saturday for the Bushies while Luke Restall again shone with the bat for Patties in the finals before being run out on 52.
Tallangatta coach Matt Armstrong scored a game-high 84 yesterday but it was to no avail.
Wayne Hawking and Kane Arendarcikas each took three wickets.
Naughton said the club was desperate to ensure it cashed in on its period of dominance.
Patties won the 2011 decider before losing to Wodonga in last season’s grand final.
“Last year obviously hurt,” Naughton said.
“Obviously we’ve been there before but you’ve got to be in it to win it.
“There’s a new bunch of players in the side and a new hunger.”
Lavington, meanwhile, also progressed to the decider with a strong win.
The Panthers smashed North Albury by 78 runs in the weekend’s other preliminary final.
Lavington captain James Tonkin lauded the Panthers’ ability to defend its relatively small total of 211.
“The feeling in the rooms wasn’t the best after day one, to be honest,” Tonkin said.
“We felt we were 50 or 60 runs short of what we should have made.
“North’s got a lot of batting depth so it was a bit of a concern.
“But to defend that score on a good track was fantastic.
“We’re so glad to have the opportunity to play in the grand final.”
Sam O’Connor scored a game-high 54 for the Panthers on day one while Liam Scammell, who also made a half-century on Saturday, tore through the Hoppers’ middle order yesterday and finished with four wickets.
The grand final will be played at Wodonga’s Les Cheesley Oval.