APL02 semi-finals confirmed
The four teams to progress through to the post-sectional rounds of the $110,000 APL02 have been decided After 14 rounds of sectional play and three nights of live Fox Sports coverage, the four teams to secure safe passage to the semi-final rounds of the $110,000 Australian Premier League have been confirmed.
The New Zealand Blackjacks secured top of the table standings, despite dropping their final sectional rubber to the Gold Coast Hawks in the first live broadcast match tonight, with the only other blemish to their name coming courtesy of a tie-break second round loss to the Murray Steamers.
The Steamers contingent finished their campaign on a high, despite a few hiccups over the middle order of the tournament, sealing the Blundstone Melbourne Roys’ fate of a consecutive fifth place finish with their ninth victory in the fourteenth round.
The Blackjacks and Steamers will now advance to opposite semi-finals, with New Zealand set to encounter the Adelaide Endurance, after they succumbed to the Perth Suns in their live television match to be relegated to fourth position.
With the Solargain Perth Suns and Endurance locked on seven wins a piece, and just one-and-a-half set points separating the two going into the final sectional battle, both teams were playing for third standing, having already built an unassailable lead over the Roys.
The winning down faced a showdown with the Steamers, while the loser would be forced to lock horns with the most inform team of the tournament, the Blackjacks.
After all the bullets were fired, the Suns were left standing, after claiming the first set 8-3 and then fending off a late resurgence from Adelaide, to spilt the second set 8-8.
The Blackjacks’ Ali Forsyth, Jo Edwards and Shannon McIlroy will take to the green for the first televised semi-final against the Endurance’s Wayne Ruediger, Scott Thulborn and Simon Dorr at 5.00pm AEST in the battle between first and fourth.
As a result, second placed Steamers’ Alex Marshall, Ryan Bester and Michael Walker will square off against third finished Suns; Jeremy Henry, Clive Adams and Thomas Mitchell in the second semi-final, staged on Fox Sports 2 from 6.15pm AEST tomorrow night.
The two victorious teams will then lock horns in the ultimate decider in an effort to follow in the footsteps of inaugural winners Brisbane Gold, and to secure the lions’ share of the $110,000 prize purse on offer at APL02.