• A Grade Division 1
NO ONE can remember a team scoring 38 runs, all out, in an LDCA A Grade (Div 1) grand final.
But that was the ignominious end to which Wonthaggi Club brought their opponents Inverloch last Sunday, after, it must be said, failing to set the match alight themselves on the Saturday, being 6/103 at one stage.
But, unlike Inverloch in their reply on Sunday, Club’s lower-order batsmen produced some face-saving partnerships at the end of the day which allowed them to put up the worthy total of 197 after 90 overs.
Good judges said the total would be hard to get on the Wonthaggi turf.
Key Club wickets on day one included those of the openers Dave Britt and Sam Huitema who looked absolutely untroubled in the first 10 overs of the match until Britt shouldered arms to an innocuous-looking rising delivery from Ryan Thomas only to catch the slightest of feathers through to the keeper.
Next it was Huitema who fell victim to an even more unfortunate dismissal, run out to a direct hit from Lewie Rankin. The ball was fumbled in the slips and the Club batsmen made conflicting calls in a horrible mix-up to have their premiership challenge in temporary disarray.
Mitch Thomas stuck around to get the score up towards the 100 mark but it was the contributions by Jake Wallace 14, James Sheerin 34, Mark McCall 18, Ryan Birkett 30 and Zane Macdermid 12 late in the order who saved the day; Birkett and Macdermid for example put on 33 for the last, frustrating wicket.
But it was soon ‘game-on’ on Sunday morning when Wal Tabener was out caught in slips off Ryan Thomas in the third over with just two runs on the board, a wide and a no ball.
The Club fieldsmen were up and about, running through after the overs and very animated in the field.
In the very next over, off the bowling of Ryan Birkett, it was Brett Debono who was out bowled when he chopped the ball on to his leg stump; two for two, and in the heavily overcast and humid conditions there was clear uncertainty by the batsmen facing either Birkett or Thomas who were steaming in.
Club wicketkeeper Koby Brann said afterwards that, in reality, the ball wasn’t doing much in the conditions, it was simply a matter of Club’s bowlers constantly bowling those “good areas”.
The first runs off the bat came via a defensive push to mid-on by Dave Newman but the very next ball produced plenty of ooo’s and ahh’s when Kit Rotthier fanned at a very slick delivery outside off stump from Thomas.
There were regular appeals in the overs that followed, including a good shout down leg side, with the ball clipping Rotthier’s pads, then soon after a chance that fell agonisingly short at square leg.
And if Club wasn’t going up for an appeal on the Butch West Oval, OMK was appealing loudly on the main Wonthaggi Rec Oval next door which only added to the tension of grand final day.
A steady period followed until a wayward shot by Rotthier was caught at mid-wicket by Ryan Thomas off Zane Macdermid and Club reassumed its ascendency. When the hero of the semi-final, Tom McQualter, followed the very next ball, Macdermid was on a hat trick and Inverloch’s challenge was teetering.
By the time drinks were taken at 12 noon and the old mine whistle had sounded, Inverloch were 4/11 and in the first over after drinks it got worse; Dave Newman playing on, out bowled by Jakeb Thomas – 5/13.
There was to be no coming back from there and Inverloch were eventually all out well before 1pm on Sunday for just 38 runs off 32 overs.
No Inverloch batsman reach double figures while Zane Macdermid finished with the incredible stats of 11 overs, six maidens, 5/9 to go with his 11th-wicket partnership heroics of the day before.
Captain James Sherrin who was barely required to bowl at all during the final series said afterwards that the hallmark of Club’s success was an even contribution from all team members.
“The only pressure we put on ourselves is the pressure to do something for the team and that’s pretty much how it went. No one made over 40 but we still got the score up to almost 200 in the end.
“We changed it up a bit this year with Hoops and Gavin Britt gone, adding Jake Wallace, Zane Macdermid and Mark McCall who didn’t play in last year’s grand final.”
And it was a shell-shocked Inverloch captain, Kit Rotthier, who also paid tribute to Club during the presentations.
“I don’t really know what to say. You really are a wonderful club and if we knew how you do what you do, maybe you wouldn’t win so many of these.”
A Grade Division 1
WON CLUB d INVERLOCH
1st innings Won Club
D. Britt c. W. Taberner b. R. Thomas 12
S. Huitema r.o. 25
M. Thomas c. W. Taberner b. K. Rotthier 32
R. Thomas b. D. Newman 7
K. Brann lbw. b. L. Rankin 5
J. Wallace c. T. McQualter b. K. Rotthier 14
J. Sheerin c. W. Rankin b. D. Newman 34
M. McCall b. B. Thomas 18
R. Birkett b. B. Thomas 30
J. Thomas c. R. Thomas b. T. McQualter 2
Z. Macdermid n.o. 12
Bowling: L. Rankin 1/41, K. Rotthier 2/37, R. Thomas 1/10, T. McQualter 1/28, D. Newman 2/36, B. Thomas 2/40.
1st innings Inverloch
W. Taberner c. S. Huitema b. R. Thomas 0
B. Debono b. R. Birkett 0
D. Newman b. J. Thomas 3
K. Rotthier c. R. Thomas b. Z. Macdermid 2
T. McQualter b. Z. Macdermid 0
W. Rankin c. R. Thomas b. Z. Macdermid 8
L. Rankin c. D. Britt b. M. McCall 6
W. Williams c. D. Britt b. Z. Macdermid 4
E. Cousins b. Z. Macdermid 0
B. Thomas c. J. Thomas b. M. McCall 7
R. Thomas n.o. 2
Bowling: R. Thomas 1/4, R. Birkett 1/3, Z. Macdermid 5/9, J. Thomas 1/9, M. McCall 2/10.
Full cricket coverage of the LDCA Grand Finals in this weeks edition of the South Gippsland Sentinel-Times.
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