Occasionals brace for final battle after Naomi’s fine effort
A terrific seven- wicket haul, including a hat-trick, by Naomi Schaper helped Occasionals reach this weekend's grand final.
It was a welcome turnaround for the first division team that had finished last in previous seasons.
However, as senior player Deanne Lawrie rightly tipped, Occasionals will need another special effort in Saturday's title decider against TC United.
"It's a bit of a different game against TC,'' she said.
"Wildcats are a good side but I think TC, because they won the last few years, have got some really talented players.''
Although Occasionals have beaten the runaway competition leaders this season, Lawrie also knows how tough TC are in big matches.
"Their depth is the thing that will be really hard to overcome,'' she said.
"We've just got to focus on what we can do. We haven't got much to lose.
"We're pretty excited to be in the grand final.''
In Saturday's semi-final, Schaper led the way with her inspired spells of 7/14 and 4/15.
"She's fairly quick,'' Lawrie said. "She's one of our Ipswich veties (veterans) but still has got the goods when it comes to bowling.''
Lawrie said Schaper's opening bowling partner Chantel Collie also had a fine impact, keeping it tight.
Wildcats made just 26 in the first innings before Occasionals set up the outright win scoring 75.
Wildcats made 51 in the second innings, leave Occasionals three to win.
Lawrie top scored with 26.
Wildcats bowler Kerryn Graham toiled hard taking 6/36 and effecting three runouts.
"It was not that easy to score runs,'' Lawrie said.
"The bowlers from both teams bowled quite well.
"We were pretty relieved we got at least a 40 odd run lead. They (Wildcats) beat us the week before so we were a bit nervous.
"We had one of those games were everything kind of fell into place.''
Wildcats enjoyed two pleasing results on Saturday.
After the club's junior team beat Sports in the grand final, Wildcats second division side advanced to the title decider with a win over Occasionals.
The first division grand final is at 1pm on Saturday at the East Ipswich grounds (Joyce Street).
The second division grand final between TC United at Wildcats is at 9am.
State of play
Juniors grand final: Wildcats Gold 111 def Sports 27 and 46 in an outright win.
Division 1 semi-final: Occasionals 75 and 3 def Wildcats 26 and 51 in an outright win by 10 wickets.
Division 2 semi-final: Wildcats 70 and 48 def Occasionals 39 and 37 in an outright win.