AFTER thunderstorms hit the Perth metropolitan area last Thursday night, ground keepers worked hard to have turf pitches ready for the WA Senior Country Week Cricket finals last weekend.
In A-section Geraldton and Busselton-Margaret River Cricket Associations (BMRCA), both moving to the top of their divisions on the last day of qualifying games, played off for the A-section premiership at the Western Warriors new training facility at Murdoch University.
BMRCA captain Wes Slater won the toss and sent Geraldton in to bat with openers Glenn Wishart and Jai Russell making a stand of 28 before BMRCA medium fast bowler David Mackay broke through.
Quick wickets to BMRCA veteran Neil Langenhoven and Mackay had Geraldton three wickets down for 32.
A stand of 34 runs between Cody Bone and Russell took Geraldton to 66 before Matthew Kent had Russell bowled for a hard fought 20 runs.
Another 18 runs were added to the Geraldton scoreline before Kent struck again having Clint Yeates out for one with the score at 5/84.
Bone and Shayne Bidwell added 33 more runs before Bone was caught behind off the slow left arm bowling of Welsh import Mike Provis for 49 with Bidwell departing four runs later for 24.
Veteran BMRCA warhorse Neil Langenhoven claimed another two scalps and Provis added one more to his tally to wrap up the Geraldton innings, all out for 140 runs in the 54th over.
Langenhoven finished with figures of 4/45 from 17 overs with Mackay, Kent and Provis finishing with two wickets each.
Chasing a low score to claim victory BMRCA lost an early wicket with opener Danny Hatton out LBW to Shayne Bidwell for five and the score at 1/7.
A steadying partnership between Wes Slater and Ben Lloyd steadied the innings for BMRCA taking the score to 52 before Lloyd was out for 21.
Veteran campaigner Martin Head joined his captain at the wicket and they added another 36 runs to their total before Slater was claimed by Clint Yeates for 30 with the BMRCA score at 3/78.
Shayne Bidwell took two quick wickets to have Busselton Margaret River 5/79.
With plenty of overs remaining Head and Provis took the BMRCA to victory at 5/141 with Head finishing the game with 49 not out and Provis 26.
Bidwell finished with figures of 3/64 from 17 overs to be Geraldton's stand-out bowler.
In the B-section final Eastern Districts and South Midlands played at Stan Twight Reserve, Rockingham.
Eastern Districts batted first but lost wickets early to be 3/20.
With only two batsman reaching double figures Eastern Districts, on the back of a hard hitting 142 not out from Garrick Yandle and 24 from Damien Bow and a last wicket partnership between Yandle and Craig Gmeiner of 78 runs saw them get to a total of 211.
Greg Dixon returned figures of 4/75 for South Midlands with spinner Gus Forbes taking 2/48.
In a solid top order batting display South Midlands were 55 before losing opener R Bennett for 18.
Fellow opener Jake Edwards was next to depart for 50 runs being the first of Eastern Districts' Chris Fields four wickets.
Cameron Yates contributed 36 runs to the South Midlands total before falling to Fields with the score at 3/109.
Fields struck again having Gus Forbes adjudged LBW for 18 runs with the score at 4/136.
With another 76 runs required, and their top order batsman back in the pavilion, middle order batsman Clayton Smith played a measured innings making 42 not out while Greg Dixon made 17, Bruno Kay eight and Luke George not out three to take South Midlands to victory in the B-section of WA Senior Country Week Cricket.
Eastern Districts' Chris Fields was their leading bowler taking 4/52 off 18 overs.
The C-section final between Broome Cricket Association and Geraldton Cricket Association was the highlight of the finals with Broome amassing a total of 8/300.
Opener Joel Unicomb made 113 runs being the third Broome wicket to fall with the score at 230.
Ben Rahman made 52 and Mitch Smith a quick fire 72 to give the Geraldton outfit a massive total to chase for victory.
Geraldton's Aaron Wright returned the figures of 5/38 off seven overs to be their only multiple wicket taker of the match.
Geraldton needed a run rate of 6.02 runs an over to achieve victory and had their work cut out for them, losing their first wicket at 19 runs.
Geraldton moved its score to 34 before Broome quick Chris Chuck took two wickets with consecutive balls to have their opponents reeling at 3/34.
Fellow bowlers Dan Nicholas and Farley Murton kept the Geraldton middle order pinned down with B McMillan, Ben O'Brien and Aaron Wright the only batsmen who were able to make a dent in the formidable total. McMillan made 20 with O'Brien and Wright 29 each.
Geraldton finally succumbed for 189 to give Broome the C-section title for 2012.