Heathcote are the hottest team ahead of NUCA finals

By Brayden May

HEATHCOTE is the team to beat in this year's Northern United Cricket Association finals series.

Despite finishing second on the ladder, the Saints will enter Saturday's second semi-final against Elmore with nine straight wins behind them.

However, captain Corey Gilmore was quick to heap praise back onto the minor premiers.

“Elmore finished on top of the ladder for a reason, they were consistent throughout the year and were always difficult to beat,” he said.

“It's great we've got the confidence and momentum behind us but it can count for very little in a finals game.

“If we are able to win and get the week off it would be a great reward for all of our hard work.”

The Saints ended their home-and-away season with a comfortable seven-wicket win over Goornong.

After winning the toss and electing to bat, Goornong were simply no match for Heathcote's bowlers who tore through the visitors for just 88.

Nicholas Malavisi and Patrick Ring did the damage for the hosts, taking identical figures of 3/17 from eight overs.

In response, Heathcote never looked troubled as Alex Williamson top scored with 37 runs.

But again, Gilmore paid tribute to the performances of his bowlers.

“Our effort with the ball gave us a good platform to start our innings on the front foot,” he said.

“They've been great all season but I think they've taken their game to another level following the Christmas break which has coincided with our form.

“We're looking forward to seeing what they can do over the coming weeks.”

In the first semi-final, Colbinabbin will host Bagshot.