Third-Grade Qualifying Finals report
Date of Event : Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:17PM

Andrew Deitz

Sixth-placed Eastern Suburbs stunned minor premiers Parramatta in the third-grade Qualifying Finals of the McDonald's NSW Premier Cricket competition.

Parramatta opted to bowl first as the Eastern Suburbs batsmen were forced to grind their way to 195 in tricky batting conditions.

Alex Tunnadine (50) battled through to post the only half-century of the innings with Samuel Powell the next best with 34.

Parramatta's Harrison King had 4-32 in his 11 over spell. King combined with Jason Coleman (3-60) and Michael Sullivan (2-36) to dismiss the visitors in the 63rd over.

Unfortunately for Parramatta, King played a lone hand with the bat finishing with 56 runs from 126 deliveries. He had some support from opening batsman Taylor Charles (35), but no one appeared to have an answer for Mark Morley's bowling performance.

The Eastern Suburbs captain bowled with precision taking an incredible 7-19 from 13.5 overs to set up an upset first innings win by 73 runs.

Parramatta's Anand Verma enjoyed similar success with the ball in the second innings taking 7-56, but it was to no avail as Eastern Suburbs occupied the crease for the remaining overs thanks mainly to Reuben Taucher who top-scored for the match with 69 as the visitors finished on 8-146.

Sydney was another team outside the top three who claimed victory in the qualifying finals.

Sydney reached second-placed Northern District total with five wickets in hand in the first innings.

Playing at Mark Taylor Oval, the home side Northern District were unable to back up their decision to bat first. Jack Shelley (25) and Hamish Green (31) were the only batsmen to show any fluency against a strong Sydney bowling attack of Mark Frei (4-16), Justin Rodgie (3-17), and Cameron Holmes (2-23) who removed the home side for just 103.

Sydney got off to a shaky start losing their captain Craig Di Blasio for zero and Travis Loxton (1) to have Sydney 2-2.

A solid 71 from Nicholas Taylor at the top of the order ensured his side passed Northern District to lead by 87 runs heading into the second innings. Joe Hiley (2-29) and Jacob Heinrich (3-52) toiled away to have some success, but it wasn't enough for the hosts.

Despite their attempt for an outright win in the second inning, it wasn't enough for Northern District who bowed out of this season's third-grade competition at the hands of Sydney.

Sydney University enjoyed a comfortable win over Mosman in the last qualifying final match in third grade.

Half-centuries from lower order batsmen Michael Robinson (55) and captain Ash Cowan (71) helped rescue Sydney University out of early trouble recovering from 5-80 to be all out for 269.

Mosman's pursuit of the target struggled to gather momentum losing wickets in clumps as the visitors fell 132 runs short.

Spin bowler Liam Whitaker (4-12) was the most damaging bowler for Sydney University, closely followed by Kieran Tate who picked up 3-39 with the new ball.

Sydney University will host Parramatta in the semi-finals with the match taking place at Petersham Oval while Sydney will have the home ground advantage when they take on Eastern Suburbs at Drummoyne Oval with play set to begin at 10:30 am on Saturday and Sunday.

Last updated: Friday March 23, 2018 5:18PM