The Western Razorbacks’ second XI became the first side to book a spot in the Narrabri District Cricket Association 2020-21 second grade T20 competition grand final with a third consecutive win on Saturday night.

The Wee Waa-based side entered the third round of the competition requiring a victory to make it mathematically impossible for it to miss out on a top two spot, and it got the job done against Civeo at Collins Park under lights.

Civeo batted first and made 9-69 in 20 overs, which the Razorbacks chased down in 14.2 overs after losing six wickets.

NDCA second grade T20 competition defending champions RSL is the favourite to join the Razorbacks in the January 23 decider.

In its first game of the season on Saturday, RSL made light work of Tatts in an eight-wicket win.

Tatts batted first and reached 8-78 in 20 overs before RSL chased down the required total in 16.3 overs for the loss of just two wickets.

That win, combined with a round one washed out draw, saw RSL finish the third round on 11 points, 10 behind the Western Razorbacks, two clear of both Tourist Hotel and Tatts and five clear of last-placed Civeo.

RSL has played one less game than its other four rivals which means it will play two games on Saturday in round four. It will take on the Western Razorbacks at 3pm, then will go head-to-head with Tourist Hotel at 7pm.

The defending champions require a win in just one of those matches to secure a grand final spot, but two wins would see them finish undefeated and on top of the ladder.

In the other round four match, Tatts and Civeo will meet at Hogan Oval.

Civeo cannot qualify for the grand final, but it is still possible for Tatts or Tourist Hotel to join the Western Razorbacks in the decider. For that to happen, RSL must lose both of its matches, and those two sides must win their respective games. If RSL loses both matches, one of which is against Tourist Hotel, and Tatts wins, both Tatts and Tourist Hotel will finish on equal points and the grand finalist will be decided by NDCA ladder percentage (runs for/wickets lost) / (runs against/wickets taken).

Narrabri District Cricket Association second grade T20 competition ladder:

1. Razorbacks – 21 (three wins, no losses).
2. RSL* – 11 (one win, no losses, one washout draw).
3. Tatts – 9 (one win, two losses).
4. Tourist Hotel – 9 (one win, two losses).
5. Civeo – 6 (no wins, two losses, one washout draw).
*RSL has two matches left to play, all other teams have one more left to play.

In Tatts’ first of two games on Saturday, it struggled to gain any momentum against RSL at Hogan Oval after winning the toss and batting first.

Ash Watt opened the batting and scored a team-best 40 runs before departing in the 19th over. Only Guy Gleeson (11) could also register a double digit score for Tatts.

That game was dominated by three RSL young guns, with teenagers Will Ford, Bernard O’Connor and Tim Shields proving too hot to handle for Tatts.

Ford opened the bowling for RSL and claimed the wickets of both openers as he finished with 3-14 from four overs, while O’Connor ripped through the middle order to finish with 3-16 from four overs.

Shields then opened the batting for RSL and scored an unbeaten 45. O’Connor added 13 runs from number three, while Tyson Gilmore finished unbeaten on nine in the defending champions’ eight-wicket win.

Tatts then bounced back from that loss to defeat Tourist Hotel by nine wickets under lights at Hogan Oval.

Tourist Hotel batted first and was rolled for 50 in 16.1 overs, which Tatts chased down for the loss of just one wicket in 10.2 overs.

Not one Tourist Hotel batsman reached double figures in the side’s loss.

Tatts’ Jonty Fowler produced a standout performance with the ball and finished with 4-6 from four overs which included a double wicket maiden and a wicket maiden in his last two overs respectively. Sid Harvey (2-5 from three overs), Sanchit Jagadeesan (2-11 from four overs), Mick Morgan (1-5 from 1.1 overs) and Daly Guest (1-13 from three overs) also claimed wickets for their side.

Then with the bat, Tatts’ Guy Gleeson continued his impressive run of 2020-21 T20 form. Gleeson opened the batting and scored an unbeaten 27 to take his season average to 108 in three games following scores of 70*, 11 and 27*.

Fellow opener Brinley Davis scored 16 before being run out, and Watt chipped in with an unbeaten one.

In the other round three match, the Razorbacks were too good for Civeo at Collins Park. Civeo batted first and finished on 9-79.

Razorbacks bowlers Noah Mace (4-8 from two overs), Chris Hartnett (2-3 from four overs), Brandon Couley (2-5 from four overs) and Clay Hoffman (1-7 from three overs) took the wickets and were all economical which helped keep the Civeo total down.

The chasing side lost six wickets, but number three Harry Pattison (21*) and number eight Nathan Hamblin (24*) guided their side home to victory.

The pick of the Civeo bowlers was Elsie Ford who too 3-7 off three overs.

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