POOWONG-LOCH won a thrilling Under 16 cricket grand final against (Wonthaggi) Club on Sunday at Scorpion Park in Leongatha.
Despite the early morning showers everything was there for a great grand final and it turned out to be one of the best.
Scores were tied with five balls to go of the 50 over match but it was Poowong-Loch who triumphed on the day by three wickets.
Michael Heenan and Alan Jordan were the umpires, both sides had a good crowd of supporters and the ground was in excellent condition.
The game was played in great spirits by both sides and all players gave their utmost to win the game with a lot of batsmen getting starts and some good bowling.
Aaron Bardwell was the only batsman to top 50 with 58 and was named man of the match by the umpires.
Russ Matthews, association president, presented the premiership cup to Poowong-Loch’s captain Matt Allen and coach Adam Sheedy and congratulated them on their victory and spoke of the great junior talent in both teams.
This was the third close under 16 grand final in the past three years with Poowong-Loch missing out three years ago by a narrow margin in the last over.
The association thanked Leongatha Town Cricket Club for providing the excellent facilities for the game.
The club has been great supporters of junior cricket led by junior cricket association president Jareth Hume.
The match started with Alex Geyer, captain Club, winning the toss and deciding to bat.
Alex (21) and Drew Herbert (18) got their team off to a flying start with 40 runs from five overs but both players were dismissed on 40, letting a great opportunity slip as they had the game under control.
It was left to Joel Brann (21) and Josh Schulz (41) to re-establish the momentum and they added 60 for the third wicket.
Unfortunately both players were dismissed within six runs of each other.
Emmet Dempsey added 29, Will Speed 15, Bailey Harvey 10 and Tomi Brosnan
0 not out as Club reached 6/173 from 50 overs – a good score but with the great start could have been better.
Poowong-Loch’s bowling was good with a spell in the middle by Aaron Bardwell (five overs 1/14) and Matt Allen (eight overs 1/16) slowing the tempo of Club’s innings.
Brad Monson (10 overs, 1/31), Will Walker (10 overs 2/38), Tom Sheedy (eight overs 1/36), Joel Darts (seven overs 0/23) and Courtney Walker (two overs 0/6) all bowled with good discipline.
Poowong-Loch had a good score to chase down with Aaron Bardwell 58 and Matt Allen (20) opening the batting with Alex Geyer and Joel Brann taking the new ball for Club.
Matt was dismissed on 38 and Will Walker (8) joined Aaron and they added 63 when Aaron was dismissed.
Will went at 110.
Joel Darts (15) and Brad Monson (29) were batting well when Joel was run out with the score on 136.
Tom Sheedy (12) added 22 with Brad after some early luck.
Sixteen runs to get when young Tyson Twite (6) joined Brad with Tyson’s great straight drive for four tying the score but then Tyson was bowled and with Brad caught in the covers the score was still level with five balls to go.
It was left to Harrison Sheedy (8) and Luke Monson (3) to get the runs off a nervous Emmet Dempsey bowling but they managed to pierce the close in field with Club trying to stop the single.
Victory for Poowong-Loch despite every effort by the Club boys to deny them that extra run.
Club bowling was solid all day featuring Alex Geyer (10 overs 0/25), Joel Brann (0/32), Drew Herbert (1/38), Emmet Dempsey (3/43 in a good match from him), Heath Dobbie (0/12), Sam Tessari (0/8) and the bowler who nearly changed the game Fraser West (eight overs 2/11) in a great spell. Congratulations to both Coaches Adam Sheedy and Rob Geyer for the spirit the game was played in.
Full cricket coverage in this weeks edition of the South Gippsland Sentinel-Times.
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