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Kyabram Fire Brigade books ticket to big dance

Joe Taylor and Tyrone Isitt have played vital roles in leading Kyabram Fire Brigade to victory over Echuca and a place in the Goulburn Murray Cricket final.

MATTHEW GALEA March 10, 2014 4:20am

It hasn’t been a great summer for English or South African cricket lovers, but Joe Taylor and Tyrone Isitt are the toast of Kyabram Fire Brigade after helping the Flames to the grand final.

The Flames saw off a spirited Echuca side by 102 runs to book a place in the Goulburn Murray Cricket grand final, where they will face Tongala.

Taylor turned around some mediocre form with the bat to put in a brave shift at the crease on Saturday for the Flames, scoring 81 off 250 balls to set up a terrific platform for his side to go on and score 247.

Isitt backed that up the following day, taking four wickets for 58 helping the Flames to bowl Echuca out for 145, leaving coach Brayden Stone, who can now look forward to his first grand final, immensely proud of his boys.

‘‘I lost eight semis at Cooma, so this is new territory for me,’’ Stone said.

‘‘It’s exciting, the team we have might not be as strong as it was last year, but I really wanted to build a good team philosophy and have blokes knowing their roles.

‘‘They’ve been a really good group, I’ve loved coaching them.’’

Stone took particular pride in Taylor’s performance.

‘‘I can’t sing his praises enough,’’ Stone said.

‘‘He had a big day at the crease and really set us up.

‘‘We had a few others chip in with 30s and it was a good batting display.’’

It was the performance with the bat that let Echuca down, according to captain Brendan Prendergast.

Prendergast was happy with the way his side reined in a Flames team that got off to a great start.

‘‘They were 3-200 with 15 overs to go, and I thought we did a good job on Saturday to pull them back in,’’ Prendergast said.

‘‘We just didn’t bat well enough, if we had of batted well, we’d have won, but they bowled smart and they set smart fields.’’

Prendergast opened the batting and made 50 runs off 197 balls, before being the ninth wicket to fall.

The result, which was only Echuca’s second loss for the season, puts an end to the campaign for Prendergast’s men, but he said his side could be proud of its efforts.

‘‘I thought we had a good season, if you had of asked me what we’d be like at the start of the season, I’d have said I’d be happy with finals given we’ve had a bit of changeover in the squad,’’ Prendergast said.

‘‘Everyone stood up when they needed to over the year, and all of our young blokes like Taylor (Beard) and Curtis (Townrow) have both had very good seasons, so we can be happy with that.’’

The other preliminary final was taken out by Tongala, which pulled off a surprise win over Rochester Tigers.

Tongala was bowled out for 162 after 75 overs, and the Tigers went into yesterday’s play 35 runs into the chase with 10 in the shed.

The Tigers couldn’t make up the runs though, bowing out from the competition at the expense of Tongala.

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