Bury stand in the way of South's treble dream

Bury will meet South Manchester in the NJCL final after both sides claimed victories in their respective semi-finals.

Bury eased past holders Sedgley by seven wickets with 17 overs to spare. With a strong batting line up Sedgley duly elected to bat having won the toss. This seemed a good decision as they scored 14 of the first over but then the bubble burst. Josh Rose ripped out the top order with an excellent spell of left-arm bowling to finish with 4-23 off six overs. His final wicket an excellent delivery to clean up dangerman Shaya Rabinowits for a duck.

Adam Schogger chipped in with two wickets to leave Sedgley staring down the barrel. David Rosenberg and Jeremy Korn threatened a brief comeback but the former was superbly yorked by Mark Blackston.

Daniel Caller finished off the innings with two wickets in an over, the first inducing veteran David Marks to pull a ball straight into the midrift off Josh Gardy at midwicket who somehow clung on, and the second brilliantly caught by Saunders.

Korn was left 10 not out and was only joined in double figures by Matt Glyn who made 13.

Sedgley batsmen will feel they let themselves down with some poor shot selection amassing a measly 66.

Needing less than two an over, Bury relaxed and went out full of confidence they could reach their first final in four years. Andrew Niman and David First started steadily, putting on 25 for the first wicket. However, Rabinowits struck twice in three balls to give Sedgley renewed hope. This brought birthday boy Zevi Saunders sprinting to the wicket to calmly see Bury through to the finish. The final flourish came from Mark Blackston who an unbeaten 20 in as many balls to spark jubilant scenes.

Last year's runners-up, South Manchester, progressed to the final with a closely fought three-wicket victory over Maccabi.

Perhaps the unluckiest man on the field was Anthony Gellman who batted excellently for 38 and bowled even more superbly to take one wicket for seven runs off his seven overs- and still ended up on the losing team.

South Manchester won the toss on a beautiful sunny day and feeling that their strength was in their bowling, put Maccabi into bat.

Immediate dividends were paid when opener Simon Nadler had his stumps rearranged by Huddy Lieberman for a first ball duck.

The South Manchester bowling was cleverly rotated by captain Barry Price and all the bowlers, Elliot Shiers (3-29), Jonny Lieberman (2-21) Harry Rosenblum (2-22), Huddy Lieberman (1-15) and David Cohen (0-34) performed admirably, keeping the run rate down and the wickets tumbling.

Gellman played a controlled innings and ground out 38 very precious runs before skying a catch off Shiers. Earlier, Nigel Woolfstein had opened the innings with clear intention of biffing every ball out of the ground and hit 15 before trying it once too often and was bowled by Lieberman senior.

At the half way stage, both teams fancied their chances. Maccabi's total of 118 was not a bad score at St Pauls where the uneven bounce and long boundaries make runs hard to come by.

South Manchester, although missing their star batsmen Michael Filson and Lawrence Newman, felt the score was gettable. Sholom Schwalbe tried the Woolfstein approach and was well caught by Ray Tammam on the long-on boundary. Rosenblum and Cohen fell cheaply to the tricky spin of Stephen Alweis who finished with 4-32.

This brought father and son Jonny and Huddy Lieberman together and they accelerated the score with a quickfire 50 partnership. Lieberman senior was out for 29 trying to sweep Alweis and shortly afterwards Huddy was out for a chanceless 31, run out off a superb direct hit by Wayne Doyle.

That could have been the pivotal moment with South Manchester needing a further 39 to win with five wickets and plenty of overs remaining. It was nail-biting stuff as Gellman strangled the scoring and Steve Glicher nudged and nurdled 14 precious runs to edge closer to the target.

In the end, captain Price came in to hit the winning runs off his opposite number Ray Tammam.

What price, Price to lead south Manchester to the treble?
    Last updated: 12:19pm, July 28 2008