Parramatta lose shield semi-final

PARRAMATTA'S defence of the Poidevin Gray Shield ended with the semi-final loss against Bankstown at Old Kings Oval on Sunday.

The hosts couldn't capitalise on an 81-run opening partnership between Jeremy Dack, 42, and Rick Potter, 35, and the innings ended at 9-195, at least 30-40 runs short of the competitive total needed.

No batsman, apart from Scott Copperfield, 30 from 21 balls, could increase the run-rate against Bankstown's spin and medium-pace attack.

Bankstown reached the target for the loss of just two wickets, with Parramatta finger-spinner Matt Taylor taking 2-29.

The result aside, captain Nick Bertus led from the front in a brilliant season campaign, scoring 515 runs at an average of 103.

Meanwhile, Parramatta firsts had a first-innings loss against Eastern Suburbs but avoided the outright. The match was lost with the toss on the first morning. Eastern Suburbs called correctly and Parramatta were dismissed for 93 on the treacherous wicket.

Last Saturday's benign conditions allowed Easts to reach 9-238.

The pace trio of Ben Martin, 2/38 from 14 overs, James Parkinson, 2/48 from 17 and Scott Copperfield, 1/22 from 10 overs, toiled manfully, and young leg-spinner Shane Cassel bowled a marathon 19-over spell in support, taking 1/83.

Parramatta were 4/163 at the close, with opener Adam Turrell scoring 51 and consistent batsman Darren Smith hitting a 53 not out. Parramatta are away to North Sydney this weekend.

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