Brad Knight has grown an extra leg at the crease this season.
Brad Knight has grown an extra leg at the crease this season. Matthew Elkerton

Race for finals wide open as Easts bounce back emphatically

CRICKET: The battle for GDSC Premier League finals places has been set alight after GDSC Easts secured its second win over South Services on Sunday.

It was an impressive performance from the Easts troop, who had been demolished by Tucabia-Copmanhurst GI Hotel the day prior.

Despite the tough loss, Easts captain Sam John said his side had taken a lot of positives from that clash, which only fuelled them for their critical showdown with Services.

"It was really good to beat them, and really good for our side to bounce back,” he said.

Easts veteran Brad Knight (42) led the way for the side, putting on a 76-run opening stand alongside his captain before some power hitting in the middle overs from Shannon Connor (42) helped push the side's total past the 200-mark.

Set a total of 210 for victory, things started on the wrong foot for South Services with veteran seamer Matt Lobsey (2 for 40 off 8) removing the side's dangerous openers inside the first five overs.

"(Lobsey) is an absolute gun with the ball,” John said. "He still gets them through at a good click and he is incredibly fit in the field. He is like a young Shaun Tait out there.”

Knight (3 for 24 off 8) also starred with the ball in hand with his "loopy pace” tearing through the Services' middle order as they fell 68 runs short.

Luke Sullivan was the lone shining light for the Services' batting side, scoring 46.

The win has helped Easts climb above South Serrvices into third spot on the GDSC Premier League ladder while Coutts Crossing sit in fifth place a game behind.

In other Premier League action on Sunday, Tucabia-Copmanhurst GI Hotel made short work of their clubmates in the local derby at Ulmarra Showground with openers Blake Austin (21*) and Dan Cootes (41*) chasing down 64 for a 10-wicket victory.

While another half-century from Brothers consistent captain Jake Kroehnert (53) ensured his side came away with the points against Westlawn.

Set 158 for victory, thanks to handy batting from Westlawn's experienced duo Pat Vidler (31) and Brad Inmon (31), Brothers were never fazed, securing a four-wicket win in 34 overs.