WA Premier Cricket: Joondalup rides purple patch to grand final


Simon Branston in bowling action.
Simon Branston in bowling action.

IT hasn’t been the smoothest of seasons for Joondalup in WA Premier Cricket.

But the Centurions have hit form at the prime time to earn a spot in this weekend’s grand final against another surprise contender in Subiaco Floreat.

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It’s a feat that seemed unlikely early in the campaign when controversy surrounded the club.

Joondalup sacked coach Ric Olsen, causing tension behind the scenes.

Then key bowlers Josh Anderson and Ty Hopes were involved in ludicrous behaviour involving a threatening phone call to Melville player Tom Scollay.

Both cricketers were suspended and it appeared Joondalup was destined for an unsettled tilt in 2016-17.

But the Centurions held it together on the field to finish fourth before finding a winning rhythm in the finals that has them a strong chance to take their third title in five seasons.

Joondalup defeated the competition’s second-best side in Fremantle in the two-day semi final at Stevens Reserve over the weekend.

Glum weather made batting conditions difficult on day one with Joondalup skittled for 143 as WA bowler Jhye Richardson took 5-37.

Garrick Morgan struck a game-defining 68 as the only first innings batsman to score more than 20.

The Centurions needed a resolute performance with the ball and they delivered to upend the hosts for 112.

Veteran quick James Boyland was the chief destroyer with 5-54.

Simon Branston took 3-43.