BARNARD Park will host one of the highlights of the cricket season this Saturday when the Busselton-Margaret River Cricket Association’s T20 grand finals will be played across all three grades.
What shapes as a day to remember will also feature the first ever all-women’s game in the region, between a YOBS side and a combined women’s team from other clubs. This historic game is due to start around midday.
Dunsborough Cricket Club has been the star performer in this season’s men’s T20 competition so far, and has managed to get all three of its sides into the A-, B- and C-grade grand finals.
The A-grade grand final, starting at 3.30pm on the main turf oval, will be a repeat fixture of last year’s inaugural T20 competition grand final with Dunsborough (the reigning premiers) under Nick Ritchie again taking on YOBS, led by Ben Payne. The earlier B-Grade grand final on the main oval, starting around 12 noon, will see Dunsborough (led by Ian Purcell) up against a rejuvenated Vasse Cricket Club (led by Shane Bromilow). The C-Grade grand final, which will follow the women’s game on the synthetic oval, is set to start around 2pm and will see Dunsborough (captained by Andy Mahoney) pitted against the young Augusta side (led by Tyson Warnke).
The mid-season T20 competition has again proved a hit with the teams, who have enjoyed the shorter format as a break from the usual 50-over, 45-over and 40-over games of the standard home-and-away competition. All three grades of T20 cricket were close fought this season, with net run rates being needed to decide the grand finalists in all three divisions.
Last Saturday’s last qualifying round of A-grade T20 games at Barnard Park saw YOBS post a score of 110 all out, which Margaret River Hawks surpassed with eight balls to spare, thanks to Shane Joyce (37) and Gareth Edmonds (28 not out). There was a hiccup late in the piece when Hawks batsman Stu Roberts failed to connect with a short ball and was struck right between the eyes. He was led from the field, with only a few runs needed to win the game.
The second A-grade game on Saturday saw Dunsborough convincingly outplay St Marys. A sparkling knock of 55 by Matt Jamieson was the highlight, featuring four sixes in his first five scoring shots, as Dunsborough posted a strong score of 5-146 from their 20 overs. Saints never recovered from the loss of Marc Ford to the opening ball of the innings, and then Nick Barr to the first ball of the second over, eventually ending on 8-92. Lachie Milton’s bowling was a highlight for Dunsborough.
Dunsborough were unbeaten from four games in the T20 preliminary rounds. YOBS snuck into the grand final with two wins and two losses, on net run rates, just ahead of an unlucky Hawks and St Marys.
B-Grade: Dunsborough made it three wins from four games in the preliminary rounds of the B-grade T20 competition when they defeated Vasse at the Vasse Playing Fields on Saturday. Vasse made 97 all out, a total which was surpassed by Dunsborough for the loss of only four wickets, with Tom Begley hitting an unbeaten 44.
Down at Margaret River, YOBS compiled a winning total of 7-142 off 20 overs in their game against Hawks thanks to a hard-hitting 40 off 20 balls by Justin Gilbert. Gilbert capped a great personal performance when he took 3-12 off four overs as Hawks responded with 8-113. Despite their loss to Dunsborough, Vasse snuck into the B-grade T20 grand final ahead of YOBS and St Marys on nett run rates, all three sides finishing with two wins and two losses from four games.
Masters: In windy conditions at Barnard Park on Sunday, Dunsborough Ducks held on to defeat Numbats in a tight contest. Aaron Stone played a great captain’s knock late in the game to get Dunsborough home after Numbats took some early wickets.