A FAULTLESS opening spell of bowling by club veteran Neil Langenhoven set up Yallingup-Oddbods for victory in the Barnard Cup playoff over minor premiers Dunsborough in last Saturday's climax to the Busselton-Margaret River Cricket Association A-Grade season at the Dunsborough Playing Fields.
After Yallingup-Oddbods skipper Haig Colombera gambled on sending Dunsborough into bat on a wicket still soft from an overnight thunderstorm, Langenhoven returned man-of-the-match winning figures of 3-10 off 10 overs as Yallingup-Oddbods dismissed Dunsborough for 118 in 43.3 overs in the A-Grade grand final.
The highlight of Dunsborough's innings was a late-order fightback of 42 by Jesse Gautrey, which included several outstanding back-foot drives to the long-off fence.
After Dunsborough were 7-46, Gautrey shared a stand of 51 with skipper Hugh Mugford for the eighth wicket to give Dunsborough some chance of defending their low total.
Yallingup-Oddbods opener Chris Brook then anchored the chase with 25 off 96 balls as the visitors ground their way to a six-wicket victory.
Haig Colombera etched his own name on the Barnard Cup in style by winning the game with two consecutive sixes in the 37th over.
It was the fourth premiership for YOBS in the past eight years, and the eighth year in a row in which they have reached the grand final.
The B-Grade grand final, contested for the Barnard Shield on the adjacent synthetic ground at Dunsborough, produced a mirror-image of the A-Grade playoff.
The team batting first (Vasse) was coincidentally also dismissed for 118, and the opposition (Dunsborough) also won the game with four wickets down.
Sam Shepherd (32) and Miles Darragh (27) were the mainstays for Vasse in their innings, while Matt Cooper returned man-of-the-match winning figures of 4-18 for Dunsborough.
An unbeaten 59 by Ben Cadd piloted Dunsborough to their six-wicket win in 32.2 overs, assisted by fellow opener Ben Danaher's 31.
The outstanding grand final this year was the C-Grade final played at Cowaramup, where the fight for the Penfold Shield hung in the balance until the dying overs.
Dunsborough batted first and mounted an impressive total of 9-165 from 40 overs, in which the chief run-scorers were Ian Truscott (48) and Simon Smith (47).
Cowaramup workhorse Dan Williams returned great figures of 3-16 from eight overs.
Chasing 166 to win, Cowaramup had Quinn Giroud to thank for their performance. He scored 68 runs and was fifth out with the score at 133.
The premiership went right down to the wire before Dan Williams hit the winning boundary in the 39th over, winning the flag for Cowaramup with eight wickets down, with just nine balls to spare.
Apology to Vasse Cricket Club and Dunsborough Cricket Club
The Busselton-Margaret River Cricket Association apologises unreservedly to Vasse Cricket Club, to their captain Murray Gould, and to batsman Dennis Amour, for providing misleading information about qualification for the recent cricket finals.
The incorrect information resulted in Vasse being forced to forfeit their C-Grade preliminary final to Dunsborough on February 26, due to an ineligible player being selected in the Vasse team.
The BMRCA also apologises to Dunsborough for the ineligible player competing for Vasse.
The BMRCA wishes to thank the independent tribunal members Ian Earl, Wayne Thackrah and Bob Biddulph for their time in resolving this dispute.
BMRCA President Craig Johnson & committee