Jets fly into GDCA first-grade grand final

Cricket

THE Yenda Jets have zoomed into the GDCA first-grade grand final after holding on for a thrilling 31-run outright victory over Exies in the major semi-final.

One of the most inconsistent sides in the competition this season, the Jets produced the goods when it mattered most late yesterday, with Trent McFadzean's 62 and some tight work with the ball and in the field at the death proving key to the victory.

"We stuck it right up 'em," Yenda captain Shaun Stubbs said.

"There was a lot of sledging going on out there, which is good - that's cricket at it's best.

"We actually did give them a good verbal (battering) and I don't think they could handle it.

"I reckon we got inside their heads a little bit."

Yenda claimed a first-innings lead of 31 runs - their eventual margin of victory - after an opening day that was dominated by the bowlers.

Jets vice-captain Brett Hazelman grabbed seven of his 10 wickets for the match in the first dig as Exies were skittled for 64.

"Bretty put them on the back foot but everyone bowled fairly well," Stubbs said.

"The deck played pretty well and we dropped one or two catches the whole game. That's a big plus."

But it wasn't until McFadzean's half-century on Sunday - the only score of note for the entire match - that Yenda truly took control of the contest for the first time.

"He batted out of his skin to get us to where we were," Stubbs said.

"He was just picking the gaps, getting his twos and threes. He did hit a few big shots but it was pretty steady going."

The Jets were bowled out for 110, meaning Exies required 141 runs to qualify directly for the GDCA decider and avoid the preliminary final.

That's when Hazelman struck again, snaring the first three wickets of the innings - Phil Burge, Tom Burge and Jamie Winkler - to send the Jets on their way.

"I reckon when we got the top three out in the second innings, we knew they were packing their bags," he said.

Exies, however, held firm and sent a few scares through the Yenda camp. In the final session late yesterday, Exies needed 45 runs off 20 overs but had just two wickets in hand.

"They had to swing if they wanted to get anywhere," Stubbs said.

"We got Justin Winkler run out but then Chris Mansell came out and hit a couple of fours and I thought, here we go, it could go either way here.

"Then he skied it, I caught him, and that was it."

Yenda will now relish the week off as Exies fight it out with Leagues Club for the other grand final spot.

"We'll sit back, go through our normal training sessions and do what we do normally," Stubbs said.

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