1st grade were defeated by Perth by 7 wickets at Burrendah, but will progress in the finals thanks to other results going their way.
Aaron Hardie won the toss and elected to bat on a juicy Burrendah wicket, with a lush outfield and tight bowling making for slow going in Cameron Bancroft and Iszak Milentis’s opening partnership of 84.
Bancroft falling LBW for a fine 57 opened the door, with Hardie following soon after, chipping to square leg for 4.
D'Arcy Short looked in good rhythm in a stay of 23 from 20 deliveries before being dismissed LBW, with the game in the balance after Milentis nicked off for 46, leaving the Dragons at 4 for 153.
Contributions from Shayne Wornes (30), Kallen Bond (17), and John Sanders (28) ensured a defendable score of 233 was put on the board.
The Dragons started well with the ball on Sunday, with Matt Hanna providing an early breakthrough.
Perth’s guns Sam Fanning and Jono Wells built a partnership, but Waheguru Dhillon caught Fanning off his own bowling in his first over to give the Dragons some life.
From there, the visitors were outstanding, and the Dragons could only manage one more wicket for the day through Zach Ferris.
Hanna (1/40 from 17 overs), Ferris (1/47 from 14 overs), and Dhillon (1/53 from 17 overs) all flew the flag, with Short (0/31 from 12 overs) mixing seam-up with leg spin a highlight.
1st placed South Perth and 2nd placed Subiaco-Floreat both recorded wins, which means the 3rd placed Dragons qualify as the highest ranked loser, and will look to make amends in the semi final against the Lions at Floreat Park this weekend.
4th grade made an imposing start to their finals campaign, beating Bayswater-Morely by 7 wickets at Hillcrest Reserve.
The hosts won the toss and elected to bat, but early wickets to Aaron McCall and Arnav Pimple gave the Dragons momentum.
The Bears recovered to 2 for 76, but soon slumped to 9 for 125, with Jarod Bridge getting in on McCall and Pimple’s act.
A last wicket stand of 46 caused frustration, but bowling the hosts out for 171 after 73.1 overs still represented a strong effort, with McCall (3/28 from 17.1 overs), Bridge (3/33 from 17 overs), and Pimple (2/35 from 14 overs) all very good.
After getting through 4 overs before the end of play on Saturday, the Dragon’s Sunday morning chase started with the dismissal of Raghav Raj.
After the early trouble, Kris Elliot combined with Matthew Gleeson to put the Dragons within cooee of a win, combining for a 107 run partnership for the second wicket.
Elliot fell for 69 with the win in sight, but Harry Grigson (24 from 20 deliveries) and Keegan de Koker (10* from 4 deliveries) pressed the accelerator in typical fashion to secure the victory after 52.4 overs.
4th grade’s next task will be to defeat Wanneroo at Kingsway Sports Ground, with a grand final place on the line.
Under 17’s started their finals series brilliantly, beating Wanneroo by 8 wickets at Kingsway Sports Ground.
The hosts won the toss and elected to bat, but a strong Dragons bowling effort limited them to 9 for 166 from their 40 overs.
Kai D’Souza was outstanding, taking 4 for 38 from his 10 overs, with strong support from Brayden Lee (2/19 from 10 overs), Lawson Baker (1/25 from 7 overs), Ajit Pal Singh (1/25 from 8 overs), and Bradie Pailthorpe (1/36 from 9 overs).
In reply, Ethan Smith and Brayden Lee carried their regular season form into the finals, with the pair putting on a 79 run opening stand.
The loss of Smith for 43 and Blake Third in the same over created some nerves, but Pailthorpe (46* from 52 deliveries) and Kyall Roach (14* from 15 deliveries) saw the Dragons over the line with 9 overs in hand.
Under 17’s will renew hostilities in a preliminary final clash with Fremantle at Stevens Reserve, with a super over finish against the Port Boys in recent memory.
Under 15’s got the win over Centurions at Belridge Secondary College, returning from north of the river with a 27 run win.
The Dragons batted first and posted a defendable score of 9/171 from their 50 overs, underpinned by openers Rajat Deshmukh (66) and Lewis Giles (33), who made 73 in concert.
Consistent wickets throughout the Centurions chase limited them to 144, with consistent wickets from the Dragons ending the chase with 8 overs to spare.
Jevan Buckland (4/16 from 7 overs) bookended the innings beautifully with, Deshmukh (2/19 from 5 overs) and Veedi Pelpola (2/25 from 10 overs) giving good support through the middle.
The under 15’s will be on the road again this weekend, with Perth at Fletcher Park standing in the way of a grand final berth.
Under 13’s couldn’t quite get over the line in the big dance, losing to Claremont-Nedlands by 5 runs in a grand final thriller at Breckler Park.
The Tigers batted first and set a score of 6 for 158 from their 40 overs, with wickets for Deven Arya (1/14 from 4 overs), Luca Boden (1/19 from 8 overs), Mehraj Matharoo (1/33 from 8 overs), and Puru Aren (1/41 from 7 overs).
The Dragons missed a big score to anchor the chase, with contributions from Boden (26), Joel Vlasic (22*), and Aiden Lynch (21) enough to be in the mix.
A grandstand finish came down to 11 runs required from the last over and 6 runs for a tie from the last ball, but it unfortunately wasn’t to be.
A grand final place still represents an excellent first season at the club, and several boys look to have promising futures.