A 72-run fifth wicket partnership between Bowling Club captain Matt Crawley and Scott Gray and a well executed performance in the field, has guided Bowling Club to this season’s Sportspower Cup premiership.
Courtesy of Crawley (62), Gray (28) and some late hitting from Chris Day (19 not out), Bowling Club posted 172 before restricting the competition’s minor premiers Young Blues to 98.
With wickets shared, Crawley was recognised as the Bill West Medal recipient – man of the match – for an innings that swung control to his side’s favour.
Entering the middle at 3-46, Crawley departed with the score 7-162.
“I’m stoked. I was really happy to do a job for the team,” Crawley, who began playing first grade when Bill West was at his best, said.
“I felt comfortable after a few overs and I’m really pleased it came together. It’s the icing on the cake, the personal accolades are a sideline.”
Electing to bat, Bowling Club found themselves in trouble early as Ross Graham (7), Kurt Johnstone (7) and Tim Berry (8) all failed to make double figures.
Nick Berry (23) was the fourth to depart and Young Blues were in control at the break with the score 4-58.
Crawley and Gray changed the match after drinks, batting patiently but dispatching any ill-disciplined bowling at the same time.
After the match, Crawley admitted he knew it was an important partnership.
“We didn’t feel like we could lose another wicket. It was crucial that we got to about 32, 33 overs with some wickets in hand to have a dash at the end,” he said.
Gray was trapped in front in the 33rd over, and was Duncan Cameron’s (2-41) second wicket, with the score on 122 and some late hitting provided a further 50 runs.
“Finals are a bit different, there is added pressure. With runs on the board I was pretty confident with 170 especially when they had us 4-40,” Crawley said.
“I was pretty comfortable knowing the quality of our attack and the job they’ve done for us all year.”
Opening bowlers Charlie Johns and Aaron Thorn had most of the damage done early.
Johns was on a hat-trick during his second set, removing Zac Williams (12) and Jacob Lucas (0) in succession before Thorn secured the key wickets, described by Crawley, in Luke Cosgrove (11) and Josh Platt (13).
Regular wickets tumbled as the Blues managed 98. Nick Berry (2-11) and Al Lovett (2-8) chimed with multiple wickets as well.
Crawley praised Johns and Thorn, and his opposition another outstanding season in the Cowra District Cricket competition.
“They’ve been the unsung heroes of our team. I know the Berry boys and senior players get a lot of accolades but you don’t win premierships on the back of one or two blokes,” Crawley said.
“[Young Blues] have been great for the competition, they’ve lifted the standard, asked questions of teams and I think they have a great future. I suspect they’ll have a premiership sooner rather than later.”
Meanwhile, Lachlan Hotel has emerged from a bottom of the table finish last season to B grade premiers in 2016-2017 after beating Bowling Club on Saturday afternoon at Twigg Oval.
Angelo Baratto picked up man of the match honours in the 48-run victory.
The win caps off a dominant season for Lachlan Hotel who also clinched the minor premiership and automatic qualification to the decider.