South Queensland Country Open representative star Nathan Van Eekeren produced another dynamic double to spearhead Bundaberg to a hard-fought 71-victory over Gympie in their Wide Bay Goodchild Shield last-round showdown at Salter Oval on Sunday and a place in the final against South Burnett.
Bundaberg won the toss and elected to bat, and with a place in the decider up for grabs, Nathan came in with his side in trouble at 4-74, soon to be 5-81, and he produced what in the end proved a match winning knock of 54 from 66 balls, carrying them to a total of 172 before he was the last man out midway through the 47th of their allotted 50 overs.
He then took the new ball and snared 3-13 from 6.3 overs, combining with fellow opener Mitchell Waters (2-25), Queensland Country incumbent paceman Arden Lankowski (2-17) and captain and spinner Chris Duff (3-26) to send the visitors packing for 101 in 24.3 overs.
Nathan and Arden had been the destroyers with 4-15 and 6-15 respectively in their seven-wicket demolition of Fraser Coast in the previous round.
Fraser Coast recorded their first win of the competition on Sunday, toppling the previously unbeaten South Burnett, but Burnett clung on to top spot, finishing on 20.51 points, ahead of the Rum City (19.28), and they will now host the finale on 27th February in Kingaroy.
Mitchell had continued his stellar season in the Rum City Foods Division 1 Premiership on Saturday, this time starring with the bat as Waves extended their lead at the top of the table with a 19-run dispatch of Brothers.
Waves were in trouble at 8-136, before Mitchell scored an unconquered 47 from just 39 balls, combining with his captain Chris Duff in an unbroken 46-run alliance, lifting them to 8-182.
The 30-year-old club stalwart then claimed two early wickets, and from there, Brothers never recovered, ultimately being bowled out for 163 despite a plucky 60 from opener Luke Solano.
Chris Duff (3-27) and fellow tweaker Luke Owen (3-12) shared the bowling honours, but Mitchell’s two scalps maintained his position as the leading wicket-taker in Division 1 this season, now with 27.
For Brothers, Isis under-16 paceman Jayden Santacaterina made his mark at his Division 1 debut, claiming 2-22, including the big wickets of Luke Owen and Ryan Norton.
Meanwhile, East Bundy Magpies returned to their brilliant best, overpowering second-placed Norths by 109 runs to get to within 7.84 points of them on the ladder.
The Magpies racked up 7-233 from their 45 overs, led by a back-to-form Lewis Williams with 69, before Norths imploded for 124 after Arden fired out openers South Queensland Country gun Brendan Handley for a golden duck and Blyton Pendergast for 14.
But wily 56-year-old spinner Lachlan Donovan was the unlikely destroyer, bagging an amazing career-best 5-6 from 5.1 overs as they were shot down for 124 in 35.1 overs.
Here are the scores:
RUM CITY FOODS DIVISION 1 PREMIERSHIP
Round 6: EAST BUNDY MAGPIES 7-233 (Lewis Williams 69, Arden Lankowski 46, Dale Steele 26no, Laird McKay 9-0-38-3, Shannon Smith 9-0-55-2) d NORTHS 124 (Nathan Van Eekeren 34, Lachlan Donovan 5.2-1-6-5, Arden Lankowski 6-2-4-2, Ben Davey 6-0-39-2).
WAVES 8-182 (Mitchell Waters 47no, Ryan Norton 35, Harry Kuorikoski 9-1-18-3, Jayden Santacaterina 6-1-22-2) d BROTHERS 163 (Luke Solano, Luke Owen 5.3-1-12-3, Chris Duff 9-1-27-3, Mitchell Waters 9-1-27-2).
RUM CITY FOODS DIVISION 2 PREMIERSHIP
NORTHS 6-119 (Dan Hunt 47, Richie Sharman 34, Will Barritt 4-15) d EAST BUNDY MAGPIES 115 (Ken Milliken 3-15, Matthew Parker 2-18, Mick Penny 2-21, Richie Sharman 2-24).
WAVES 4-172 (Kynan Hard 64, Kori Pope 40no, Noel Stitt 27) d BROTHERS 9-170 (David Boge, Nick Catasti 4-27).
RUM CITY FOODS DIVISION 3 PREMIERSHIP
NORTHS 184 (Paul Jenner 46, Michael Eade 39, Shannan Heycox 3-30, Neil Trebbin 2-13, Tyson Cox 2-38) d BROTHERS 7-105 (Nick Clarke 25, Ethan Hamel 4-7).
EAST BUNDY MAGPIES 5-178 (Eric Petersen 62, Troy Cross 38no, Lex Webster 4-27) d YMCA 7-174 (Brett Woodward 74no, Cody Muller 29, Reece Sorrensen 3-29, Graham Werner 2-12).
WAVES 7-176 (Mitch Wormington 76, Brock Catasti 40, Zac Dann 3-24, Reuben Challacombe 2-20) d ISIS 9-109 (Cooper Rehbein 46no, Josh Wormington 3-17, Jack Kleidon 2-13, Jack Beveridge 2-29).
WIDE BAY GOODCHILD SHIELD
Round 3: BUNDABERG 172 (Nathan Van Eekeren 54, Ryan Norton 25, Michael Loader 22, Nathaniel Bailey 6.3-1-29-3, Lochlan Maxwell 8-2-38-3, Dean Chandler 10-1-29-2) d GYMPIE 101 (Tyson Hillcoat 25, Aidan Bailey 23, Nathan Van Eekeren 6.3-3-13-3, Chris Duff 5-1-26-3, Arden Lankowski 4-1-17-2, Mitchell Waters 6-0-25-2).
SOUTH QUEENSLAND UNDER-21 DENIS O’DEA SHIELD
Round 1: GOLD COAST INVITATIONAL 5-113 (Connar Robson 53, Corey Perren 10-1-39-5) d WIDE BAY 109 (Ben Howard 28, Riley Coy 3-27, Jayden Brown 2-12, Joel Harrison 2-19, Hudson Izzard 2-22).
Play-off for third: WIDE BAY 5-197 (Corey Perren 57no, Harry Sippel 26no, Ben Howard 23, Brendan Grills 20) d DARLING DOWNS & SOUTH WEST QUEENSLAND 196 (Arshvir Singh 74no, Ben Howard 4-0-17-3, Oliver Bembrick 10-0-41-3, Harry Sippel 10-3-24-2, Dylan Heycox 4-0-20-1, Corey Perren 8-0-31-1).
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