ATW defeat Brothers, book Cup spot
ACROSS The Waves (ATW) bounced back from their Sugar Cities Challenge final loss to book a place in the NewsMail Cup decider with a 24-run victory over Brothers on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Norths put a disastrous Challenge series behind them with their first premiership victory since returning to top grade after a long absence last season.
They defeated Country/Wests by four wickets, but are still likely to miss the cup final.
ATW recovered from the loss of Warwick Hawes on the third ball of their innings to post a handy total of 216, despite being bowled out in 41 of their allotted 45 overs.
No. 3 Brendan Prossliner scored a brisk 57, while many of his team-mates made starts without being able to capitalise.
Jarrod Laycock, who started as keeper before taking the ball, was Brothers' most successful bowler in an injury-delayed start to his season with 3-35.
In reply, the Brethren lost early wickets, but captain and first drop David Boge (55) and Ashley Helmore (19) were the only batsmen in their top seven to reach double figures.
Mitch Waters removed both in his frugal 2-18 from nine overs, and when Stuchbery snared his third wicket, Brothers were reeling at 8-118.
But they at least added respectability with an unbroken ninth-wicket stand of 74 between Steven Grogan (62), also in his season debut after a knee reconstruction, and Ian Botha.
Meanwhile, Country promoted stalwart Andrew Gear to open the batting with his brother-in-law, Scott Irwin, and they gave the Panthers a great launching pad with 60 and 52 respectively.
But No. 3 Phil Proctor (25) was their only other batsman to manage double figures as they collapsed to be all out for 190.
Swingman David Randall (3-33) and veteran Richard Sharman (3-19) shared the bowling honours. After suffering many batting implosions in the Sugar Cities Challenge, Norths got their act together.
Ashley Williams relished the drop down the order to lead them from 3-48 to 5-190 before being bowled for 69 from just 68 balls.
Brett Harris was their other batting hero with an unbeaten 38.
Norths 6-192 (Ashley Williams 69, Brett Harris 38no, John Lowe 9-4-18-2) d Country 190 (Andrew Gear 60, Scott Irwin 52, Richard Sharman 7-0-19-3, David Randall 8-1-33-3); ATW 216 (Brendan Prossliner 57, Nathan Sarnadsky 37, Jarrod Laycock 6-0-36-3, Matt Turich 9-3-26-2, Ashley Helmore 6-0-47-2) d Brothers 8-192 (Steven Grogan 62no, David Boge 55, Sean Stuchbery 9-0-43-3, Mitchell Waters 9-2-18-2, Nathan Sarnadsky 8-2-24-2).