Kiewa and Mount Beauty to battle for CAW district title

TOP SHOT: Kiewa's Josh Bartel plays an aggressive shot during his innings of 34 against Yackandandah. Picture: MARK JESSER
TOP SHOT: Kiewa's Josh Bartel plays an aggressive shot during his innings of 34 against Yackandandah. Picture: MARK JESSER

Kiewa and Mount Beauty will meet in the grand final.

Mt Beauty hammered Dederang by 138 runs, while minor premier Kiewa bounced back after a shock loss to defeat Yackandandah by 55 runs.

Kiewa made 9-171 from its 70 overs, with Josh Bartel top-scoring with 34.

Mick Walker claimed 6-64.

“Mick always bowls well, he bowled 29 overs which, for anybody else, was exceptional, but to Mick it’s par for the course,” Kiewa captain Shane Streeter said.

“The game’s never over if Mick’s involved and he was inspirational again yesterday.”

Yackandandah fell for 116, with Cameron Evans and Bailey Glass contributing 27 and 25 respectively.

Ryan Bartel claimed 3-24 as the wickets were shared around.

Yackandandah’s loss meant the second-placed outfit failed to win through to the grand final and while that will surprise some, Streeter says Mt Beauty has been racing home.

“Since we’ve gone into the two-day format, they’ve been dominant,” Streeter said.

“We’ve set ourselves to beat Mt Beauty, that’s the pinnacle of the year.”

Mt Beauty posted 6-270 against Dederang.

Luke Jones was unbeaten on 73 and, remarkably, that’s the team’s highest individual score of the season.

The Power has had 10 scores in the 60s.

Openers Greg McLennan (37) and Ross Wilson (36) handed the team a strong start, with middle-order batsman Ashan Ranaweera hitting four boundaries in his 46.

“We had a team batting performance,” Mt Beauty captain Al Randell said.

“We had a good partnership at the top and if your top order makes around 40 each, you’re going to have a reasonable day.

“And we had some more partnerships late too.”

Dederang had stunned Kiewa the previous week, but the visitors never threatened to run down the imposing total.

Ben Greer made 22, but Randell (4-44) and Jake Styles (3-47) were outstanding, while Jones capped a fine match with 3-34.

“We’ve been playing some good cricket since Christmas, so we’re happy with our form definitely,” Randell said.

Streeter’s assessment of the Power since the break is correct as the club has now racked up six thumping consecutive wins.

In two of those games, the Power has pushed well past 200, so even though the minor premier in Kiewa has won through, it will find itself in the unusual position of heading into the decider as the underdog.

Mt Beauty’s win has broken the run of Kiewa-Eskdale deciders.

Kiewa is the title-holder after easily accounting for Eskdale.

Eskdale, though, had won the previous season.