The Dorrigo Junior Cricket Club Under 12s are on their way to their second grand final in as many years after a convincing semi-final win at home last Saturday.
The reigning premiers finished as minor premiers and now play to defend their Coffs Harbour District Junior Cricket Association title.
The home team met Sawtell Storm for the early game at Rowe Oval with removal of dew from the field an important part of the morning preparation. Dorrigo won the toss and led from the front foot electing to bat and set a semi-final target.
Each of the Dorrigo batters played their part in scoring - hitting, running and adding to the first innings score card. Sawtell Storm effected four run outs on the Dorrigo batsmen - evidence not only of fielding accuracy but of the risks required by batsmen to set a target. Opening batter Lincoln Kellett retired, returned to the pitch and finished as the not out batsmen on 31 with the Dorrigo score card at 109.
Sawtell Storm sent the Creenaune boys, Jake and Zac, in first to face opening bowlers Taylor Gilbert and Callan Menzies. It wasn't to be a start the away team would have hoped for with both out early. One wicket apiece was recorded for the opening bowlers and two catches to the same pair of hands - Evan Ryan proving he is a safe bet under the ball.
The Dorrigo bowlers took their turn removing the Sawtell batters with Cooper Laughlin next to go, middle stump removed by Marshall Kellett.
Training drills and fielding practice paid off too, with Fraser McQueen throwing a direct hit as wicket keeper to run out Finn Helliwell and Charlie Lower doing the same at the non strikers end to finish Max Neal's innings just moments later.
Sawtell's innings was slipping away but no one would have predicted what was to come or just how the game would end.
Young Dorrigo player Jack Dawson-Weatherall took the ball with the Sawtell card at just 5/30. Jack clean bowled Kai Bennett and next ball returned Alex Taylor to the sheds in the same manner. Sawtell now had just one wicket in hand and Jack had put himself on a hat trick. Lachlan Burnett wasn't going to be bowled, he hit the ball cleanly … but straight for a catch to Taylor Gilbert.
The hat trick came with the win and, in just his first season of cricket, Jack finished an important semi-final game having bowled just one over, to give away just one run and take a hat trick too. A magnificent finish to take the Dorrigo Juniors to the Grand Final.
Dorrigo will now play host to Macksville Thunder next Saturday March 16 for the CHDJCA Grand Final played from 8.30am at Rowe Oval, Dorrigo.