Thursday, March 29, 2018

Red Caps clinch first SCA first grade title

New Norfolk I premiership team, front from left: Matthew
Bowden, Rohan Heron, vice-captain Seb Wishart, Adam
McKeown, captain-coach Jason Rigby and Joe McCulloch.
Back: Jordan Banks-Smith, Nathan Eiszele, 12 man Jake King,
Josh Dykes, Josh Rowlands and Harry Booth
THEY did it - New Norfolk has won the Southern Cricket Association first grade grand final. It went right down to the wire, with just one over remaining and St Anne's with two wickets in hand and needing seven runs to tie - enough for victory.

But New Norfolk I bagged two run-outs to win by four runs with three balls remaining. Jason Rigby and his Red Caps men had caused the upset of the season. Defeating the Crows was one thing, but in a First Grade grand final and on the opponent's home turf at Cadbury No. 1 was another, and the celebrations that followed showed this.

Earlier, after losing the toss, New Norfolk was surprisingly sent into bat and in no time was off to a great start. Openers Adam McKeown and Seb Wishart put on 43 before McKeown was out for 26 from 30 balls (four fours). Then Wishart, with 63 from 77 balls (eight fours) - in probably his best batting for the season - put on a 126-run stand with Matthew Bowden, who carved-up the Crows attack with a superb 80 not out from just 70 balls. Bowden, who was later named man of the match, hit seven fours and two sixes, one which was an outstanding shot up over cover which thrilled the crowd.

A rain delay interrupted this partnership and the match was reduced to 32 overs. When play resumed, Wishart was later out with the score at 2-169 . Harry Booth made a quickfire 19 from just 11 balls, hitting three fours. Nathan Eiszele made four and captain Jason Rigby remained 3no. New Norfolk finished with the great total of 4-201 from 32 overs.

In reply, St Annes needed to score just over a run a ball, so the pressure was on - not something the Crows were used to after dominating all season. The New Norfolk bowlers took it up to the opposition. Josh Rowlands bowled well, finishing with 2-44 from seven overs. Opener Joe McCulloch finished with 2-57 (10), while fellow opener Jason Rigby, after a mixed first over, took 2-47 from 9.3 overs. Rigby took it on himself to bowl the final over and secure the premiership win. Seb Wishart finished with 0-25 (3) and Jordan Banks-Smith 0-18 (2). There were four run outs, the last by Harry Booth was an excellent throw that sealed the match.

New Norfolk I is the first team from the Derwent Valley to play in and win a First Grade grand final. Well done to all involved. Club president Jamie Hill was over the moon. “We thought the rain may have washed our chances away but it was a fantastic effort from the boys - I’m really proud of everyone,” Hill said. With a club cricket trip already planned for Orford, it quickly grew in significance.

Well done to the St Anne's Cricket Club which had covers on the ground on Saturday morning in case of rain and also put them on during the rain delay. Another innovation on the day was the filming of the match by Duff TV. The footage was excellent, as was the commentary. New Norfolk's Josh Walsh had a turn in the box and called the St Anne's innings, but by the final over it was far too much for the passionate Walsh and he had to leave to be among the action on the boundary line. Again, well done New Norfolk — what a season it’s been for the club.

WADE GLEESON

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