SENIOR GRAND FINAL REPORTS
B GRADE - As mentioned many times, B Grade had staged a wonderful turn around in recent weeks, when it looked certain that they would miss the finals altogether with a couple of games remaining. Now, a Grand Final berth awaited them against 2nd placed Mordialloc after they disposed of top team Hallam Kallora Park in the semi.
It would be fair to say that a team's fortunes can fluctuate many times in a Grand Final and this was no exception. Some games can fluctuate by the hour, by the session or by the innings. This game, they seemed to change by the over. We won the toss and sent Mordy in to bat. Our bowlers got amongst it very early on, having Mordy's top order back in the pavilion at 4/18, then they recovered somewhat to be 5/75, but once that 6th wicket partnership was broken, we ran right through the tail to roll them out for 91 off 38 overs. Logan Hillman did the early damage, then came back on to clean them up and finished with 4/28 and "Golden Arm" Jeremy Valentine chimed in with a superb 4/2 from just 3 amazing overs. From the early onslaught, we just did not allow Mordy any reason to be confident.
There was still half a day remaining and after an initial solid start, we too found the going tough with the bat. Wickets fell at regular intervals and we were struggling to overhaul the small target. Eventually though, we hung in long enough to get past before being dismissed for 95, a lead of just 4. Dylan Bayley was the only player to reach 20, while Jeromy Cooray finished 17 not out to see us gain an important 1st innings lead. Cadeyrn Curtain 16, Dinil Srinath 12 & Jeremy V 15 also chimed in with important runs. Mordialloc faced a few overs before stumps to edge 10 runs ahead with a day to go. Mordy's plan was simple, get a lead, declare and make us survive the 2nd half of day 2. Our bowlers had other ideas. They started OK, getting to 21 without loss, before Skipper Jake Hill-Buxton stepped in to set them back. 0/21, became 5/53, before a slight recovery but then Blake Sully made his mark on the game and we dismissed them for 113, a lead of 109. Jake took the final wicket and finished with 5/49, while Blake took 4/25.
We had around 55 overs to either bat out or get the 110 to win outright. We suffered an early setback, losing Dinil, but then Cadeyrn & Matt Ferguson recovered well before Matt went for 22. We were almost 3/4 of the way home, when Cadeyrn was dismissed for a match saving 50, easily the highest score of the match. Denver came & went, before Jeromy Cooray 8 not out & Jeremy Valentine 15 not out steered us home outright by 6 wickets, to take home the B Grade Premiership.
The team had an amazing last 4 weeks, when all looked lost early on Day 2 in Round 10. They responded in amazing fashion and were virtually unstoppable as they pushed aside the top 2 teams to take home the flag.
Congratulations to all in the B Grade Premiership Team: Jake Hill-Buxton, Cadeyrn Curtain, Matt Ferguson, Jeromy Cooray, Denver Lewis, Dinil Srinath, Jeremy Valentine, Blake Sully, Shean Taylor, Logan Hillman, Dylan Bayley.
D GRADE This team had taken all before in the lead up to the finals and went in against Beaconsfield under a full head of steam. We were dealt a blow when old warhorse, Bevan Tisdale withdrew with a shoulder injury, but he would find a way to make a significant contribution. More later.
We won the toss and elected to bat in beautiful conditions, but we were in early trouble losing both openers and we were 2/2. Further trouble when Brett Whittingham was out LBW, leaving us 3/16, then Panindru Sunilchandra followed at 4/44 and Josh Sawrey (28) walked back leaving us struggling at 5/61. We needed a couple of old dogs to come to the rescue, but what we got was Cam Davidson & Aaron Woolley to stop the rot and build the recovery. They did it to perfection, by putting on 131 for the 6th wicket before Aaron walked back for a fantastic 80 (at 6/192), then Cam followed soon after for an even 50, leaving us 7/196. Their partnership of 131 was the 2nd highest 6th wicket stand in our history, and the Club's highest partnership for any wicket in a final. A superb performance by both Cam & Aaron. With just a few overs left, our tail got us to a competitive 218.
Day 2 and Beacy got off to a flyer, with the openers getting the score to 0/72, but once we broke through, we got a sniff and they were soon 3/74. They then got to 3/99, but the whole game changed complexion with the 4th wicket as a dramatic collapse saw us run through them to dismiss them for 120. Aaron Woolley capped off a terrific game with 4/30 from 24 overs, Panindru 3/21 and Irusha Fernando, who made the all important breakthrough, finished with 3/13. Although wicketless, Tom Jelavic 0/7 (7 overs) and Arul D'Souza 0/10, also from 7 overs made life very difficult for the Beacy batsmen. In controversial circumstances, substitute Bevan Tisdale took the gloves from an injured Michael Johnson (who did manage to take 4 catches) and he effected 2 superb stumpings off Irusha to turn the game our way.
Beaconsfield were undefeated, finishing an amazing 20 points clear on top in D Grade, and they had the early dominance in the GF, but our boys fought back through Cam & Aaron and once we broke their opening stand, we powered to a convincing win by almost 100 runs.
Congratulations to the victorious team: Pasindu Sunilchandra, Michael Johnson, Aaron Woolley, Cam Davidson, Shoaib Muhammad, Josh Sawrey, Prabhsimran Singh, Irusha Fernando, Tom Jelavic, Arul D'Souza, Brett Whittingham, Bevan Tisdale (12th man).
E GRADEThe E grade team had staged their own dramatic rise to the GF, by snatching 4th spot in the final round, then sending top team Doveton packing in the semi. We faced St Mary's in the decider and they won the toss and batted first in bright, sunny conditions. We started brilliantly, removing both openers with just 6 on the board, then we got into the middle order quickly by having them 5/42. St Mary's had the luxury of depth with 2 fine players then setting about the recovery, taking the score to 117 before the 6th wicket fell. They then got to 6/152, before we took 2 quick wickets to have them in trouble at 8/155. However, their no. 7 was still there and he partnered with the tail to boost the score to all out 207. We had been held up by 2 significant partnerships of 75 for the 6th & 45 for the 9th wickets when it looked like a target of 140 was possible. Openers Brad Marshall 3/50 & Russ Collier 3/39, with Doug Paroissien's dead eye accuracy taking 4/21 from 18 overs. We had to face 6 overs and were 1/14 at stumps.
We survived the new ball on Day 2, but lost semi final hero Wayne Kirkham for 20, leaving us 2/37 and then another blow with Brad Gibbs going for 30 saw us in trouble at 5/71. Doug & Bailey then steadied, but we lost Doug for 27 at 6/101, then Russ for 12 saw us struggling at 7/116. The tail dug in against some very accurate bowling and Bailey P was the last man out for 18 and we had been dismissed for 140.
St Mary's depth in the batting proved to be the difference, but our boys showed true grit right to the end and should be very pleased with their efforts to make the Grand Final.
Berwick Springs had another successful season with 4 out of 6 senior teams making the finals, resulting in 2 Premierships and 6 out of 8 Junior teams in the top 4, adding another 2 Cups to the trophy cabinet. We have now racked up an amazing 25 Premierships in just 11 seasons, to become one of the most successful local clubs, not just in our Region, but all through the Greater Melbourne area.
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