City United claim minor premiership and Norths finish fourth as weather has final say

City United claimed the minor premiership and Northern Suburbs took the fourth spot in the semi-finals on a rain-affected final day of the Maitland first grade cricket regular season.

After another incredibly close and hard-fought season it was perhaps somewhat of an anti-climax that the many intriguing final day scenarios did not have a chance to play out.

But few could argue that the top-four finishing order of City United, Kurri Weston, Thornton and Northern Suburbs was a fitting reflection of a season in which no one side dominated.

Western Suburbs were the hard-luck story not getting the chance to play for the win after posting 5/249 against Raymond Terrace. But they paid the price for a poor batting performance the round before against Eastern Suburbs when bowled out for 136 chasing 155.

City United skipper Matt Trappel said the minor premiership was always a great reward to take out and a reflection on a playing good cricket across the whole season.

"It came down to the final round again. With the washout, Wests were unlucky that they didn't get a chance to play for the win, and Thornton would I suppose be seen as unlucky not to get the chance to play for the minor premiership because of the rain," he said.

"Obviously the minor premiership goes over the whole year and we're very happy to have claimed it.

"It's now finals time and anything can happen.

"There's no real favourities heading in everyone has got the players to win."

Trappel said one of the exciting aspect this season was that Kurri Weston or Thornton would make the grand final for the first time in a number of years.

"One of those definitely make the grand final which is good to see.

"Our game obviously is between two teams that have played a lot of finals cricket against each other and have had a lot of close matches.

"I think this one is going to be no different. They have some pretty big name players, obviously Lincoln (Mills) is the best player in the competition, anything could happen.

"They can build their innings around Millsy, young Logan (Smith) and Wilso (Mike Wilson) have scored runs in big games and they have a great bowling attack."

Kurri-Weston skipper Josh Tuckwell said after a history of losing semi-finals the club was eager to win their first title since the merger.

Tuckwell said it was good to get qualification for the finals over last week by claiming first innings points against Norths.

"We made it hard for ourselves making just 113, but we've got probably the best opening bowler in the comp in Al Seamer and he got the job done for us again," Tuckwell said.

"Today Isaac Barry got 60 not out and then the weather came in with us at 4/126 and we eventually agree to call it stumps.

TITLE GOAL: Kurri-Weston skipper Josh Tuckwell.

TITLE GOAL: Kurri-Weston skipper Josh Tuckwell.

"It worked out for Norths as well getting through with the weather forcing a draw between Wests and Raymond Terrace.

"Talking to the Norths guys after the match, their club has played in something like 11 of the last 12 grand finals.

"That's the type of record we want to have at our club going forward.

"We've never made one or won one as a merged entity and we really want to change that.

"We've had eight years as a merged clubs and made the semi-finals six or seven times but never made the grand final.

"I think if we win one we can win a few as we've got a few good juniors coming through.

"The big thing next week is to bat out our 80 overs. If we play our best we can win the comp. That will be our goal to win the comp."

Venues for the semi-finals to be held on Saturday and Sunday next weekend have yet to be decided.

City United will play Northern Suburbs in one semi-final and Kurri Weston will play Thornton in the other.

In the event of a wash out, City United and Kurri Weston will progress to the grand final as the teams which finished first and second on the ladder at the end of the regular rounds.

Four days over the weekends of March 23-24 and 30-31 have been set aside for the two-day grand final to avoid a possible wash-out.

Port's Eveleigh claims 13 wickets but Easts win

Ports Stephens spinner Jason Eveleigh finished the season with an amazing 46 wickets after claiming 13 Eastern Suburbs scalps in the final round.

After taking 7-39 in the first innings to help dismiss Easts for 137, Eveleigh picked up 6-24 to have the Griffins reeling at 7/44 before rain halted play.

But despite his heroics with the ball, Easts finished the season with a first innings win after Josh Hicks and Sean Gibson managed to capture the final four wickets to dismiss Port Stephens for 120, 18 short of their target.

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