Sutherland fans were again left without fingernails after the Sharks suffered an agonising one-wicket loss to Penrith in their limited-overs semi-final on Sunday.
Sutherland looked on track to reach the NSW Premier Cricket limited-overs final after restricting Penrith to 8-180 chasing their 228 at Glenn McGrath Oval.
But a 46-run stand between Joshua Lalor (36 not out) and Luke Hodges (17) helped get the visitors across the line and set up a final against Hawkesbury.
Earlier, Sutherland captain Ben Dwarshuis won the toss and elected to bat, with openers Chris Williams (64) and Jarryd Biviano (28) putting on a 51-run partnership to get them off to a strong start against Penrith’s returning representative quick Pat Cummins.
Tom Doyle (33), Peter Saroukos (30), Dwarshuis (22) and Jamie Brown (15) all made starts for Sutherland but couldn’t go on with it as they were eventually bowled out for 228 in the 50th over.
Cummins took 2-34 from his 10 overs, while Matthew Halse starred with 3-44.
Sutherland looked in control for most of Penrith’s run chase and looked in touching distance of victory when Tom Pinson finally bowled Penrith’s No.3 batsman Ryan Gibson for 80. Gibson had held Penrith’s innings together as wickets fell around him, but Sutherland were unable to close out the result as Penrith passed the total on the second last ball of the innings with one wicket in hand.
Pinson (3-37) and Daniel Fallins (3-49) took three wickets each for Sutherland.
The close result continued a nerve-fraying month for Sutherland, who scored a vital one-wicket win over Northern District earlier this month. That result followed on from a draw against Parramatta, who doggedly hung on to salvage a result with one wicket in hand.
Sutherland will turn their attention to their round 13 clash with St George at Hurstville Oval on Saturday. The match, originally scheduled as a two-day fixture, reverts to a limited-overs one-day match after the Sydney Cricket Association cancelled all grade cricket last Saturday due to the predicted extreme temperatures.
Sutherland Shire Junior Cricket Association also cancelled all their matches last Saturday, with all Sutherland senior cricket matches called off as well.
St George District Cricket Association also called off all their junior and senior matches late on Friday afternoon as temperatures exceeded 40 degrees in the St George district and the shire.
Meanwhile, it will be a local derby double header for St George and Sutherland this weekend, with the club’s under-21s teams to meet in the Poidevin-Gray Shield quarter-finals at Hurstville on Sunday.