In what I’m sure many of you assumed was a foregone conclusion having finished 1st in 5 out of 6 divisions this year, we were officially crowned the top centre in Perth for the first time in around 10 years on Sunday. This of course followed a dominant day of grand final cricket which saw us collect 3 premierships from the 4 contested. Here’s how the day unfolded:
U19’s Grand Final – Seamer v Bouncer
In a rematch of their semi-final only one week earlier, our table topping 19’s side were keen to undo a horrible wrong against arch-rivals Bouncer, going in as red hot favourites. With a fully functional scoreboard ensuring correct maths this time around, our boys were able to focus on their game as they took to the field in the first innings. The resulting clinic meant that Bouncer were never able to surge ahead, managing only to compile a chaseable 73 runs – the loss of regular wickets not helping their cause. Opening the chase with all-Australian pair Kai Hickey and Cameron Todd, the Snakes chase was never in doubt. A faultless, wicketless opening stand of 55 (thanks largely to an unbelievable 14-ball, 27 run 4th over) put the game to bed, leaving the remaining 6 batters with the task of simply having some fun on their way to a landslide 179-73 victory. Cam Todd being named player of the grand final and also joining Kai Hickey and Ross Nesbitt in the U19’s All Star side for 2018.
C-Grade Grand Final – Seamer v Courtside
Coming from nowhere to make the top 4, Courtside came into this grand final as perhaps the most underrated side of the competition. Winning most of their games at the back end of the regular season, Courtside’s momentum saw them roll over their semi-final and prelim final opponents with shocking ease, sending fair warning to our all-conquering reigning premiers that victory today was not a foregone conclusion. Winning the toss, our boys chose to set the bar by opting to bat first – the decision however backfiring as our opening pair were silenced by some inspired fielding from the underdogs. Regular wickets kept the score negative until the final ball of the first pair, leaving the minor premiers with a mountain of work ahead of them if they were to set a defendable total. A mix of conservative and aggressive batting from the remaining 3 pairs saw the total painfully creep towards a very gettable 66. Up against one of the strongest fielding sides in the comp, Courtside’s chase started in equally awkward and nervous fashion thanks largely to some tight bowling and solid fielding. The opening stand of 8 giving Seamer a sniff of hope as the gauntlet was thrown down to the remaining batters to do better. Parking their usual big hits in favour of the less explosive side net game, Courtside opted for the slow but steady approach to the run chase, however regular wickets again stifled the chase, leaving their final pair needing an awkward 18 runs to take out the title. It wasn’t until the 16th ball of the pair that the Seamer boys finally broke through the Courtside defences to earn a much needed wicket, leaving scores tied with one Chris Wallace over to go. However, the season’s leading wicket taker failed to penetrate the watchful defences as the minor premiers went down to a worthy opponent 74-66.andnbsp;
B-Grade Grand Final – Seamer v Ballajura
The club’s most successful team for 2018 (in terms of wins) went into this year’s final as minor premiers and obvious favourites for the flag once again. However, having been decimated by injury at the business end of the season, the boys were going to have to get the job done without skipper Hayden Jones and Eric Zscherpel. In an odd twist of fate however, we were able to call up the services of A-grade legends Vin Sandhu and Scott Brown, who had only 2 days earlier been eliminated from the Vet’s competition. Things went well for the reigning premiers as our first two pairs batted responsibly and conservatively to post a solid 58 at the halfway mark. Ballajura turned up the heat in a pivotal 11th and 12th over, holding our third pair to just 10 and keeping the likely team total to under 100. Stand in captain Andrew Vawser and veteran John Walter (who also had the flu), knocking the ball around for a safe partnership of 23, guided the team total to a very defendable 91. Ballajura’s chase started beautifully thanks to a flawless 34 from their opening pair. Things didn’t improve much after that as the defending champions struggled to take a wicket – the first for the innings coming courtesy of a hit-wicket! However the game turned a massive corner in the 8th, thanks to a brilliant 3-wicket over from Cam Todd. The momentum shift rocked Ballajura’s next 2 pairs as the snakes went on a rampage for the remainder of the game, ensuring that the total was far enough out of reach to create easy wickets – Todd feasting out for 6 of his own. Vin Sandhu named man of the match for some brilliant keeping (pipping Todd’s 8th over heroics I’m sure) in the 91-35 romp!
A-grade Grand Final – Seamer v Bouncer
Seriously – you guys have no idea what an honour it is to see a squad with this much talent take to the court. Despite missing international superstars Mark Rice and Ty Hopes to injury, our boys were always going to be red hot favourites to take out the NICL Zone title, no matter who they played. As it turned out (after some debate) that opponent was once again the Bouncer Roos. After winning the toss, Bouncer elected to bat first in the hope of posting a big enough total for our boys to chase, but it was never meant to be. A tight opening over from WA opens captain Peter Lewis set the tone for the afternoon, with easy runs as rare as an Aaron Todd no-ball. James Groves showing some respectable resistance to help post a moderate 19 runs for the challengers. Another frugal over from Capt. Lewis turned the game on its head as the second pair of Josh Hollows and veteran Justin Spilcker failed to find a gear – the former falling victim to an Aaron Todd thunderbolt on the penultimate ball of the pair, sparking a very entertaining ‘Tiger-Woods-esque fist pump’ and sending the crowd into a frenzy. Bouncer’s third pair of Luke Taylor and league MVP Jamie Burgess were once again contained to a modest partnership of 18 – thanks largely to an unforgivable 10 dot balls out of a possible 24 deliveries. Sitting on a depressing 46 runs at the ¾ mark of the innings, Bouncer needed a miracle from them last pair if they hoped to post a meaningful target, but that was all undone in a matter of minutes as Justin Coetzee ripped through the final pair of Duncan Taylor and Nick Ling with 3 valuable wickets to leave the Bouncer innings in tatters. A couple of reckless slog shots saw the score creep up towards the half century, but it was quickly brought back down to earth thanks to an unplayable final over from the ‘people’s choice’ MVP in Todd – who’s 4th ball runout prompted a rare chainsaw celebration to go with his 8th over Tiger fist-pump.
With a measly 53 run target to chase, this squad of super heroes needed only the absence of sheer stupidity to claim the title. A sensible and largely chanceless 23 from openers Jarrad ‘Bear’ Daniels and Clint Hinchliffe set the platform as they absorbed the bulk of the pressure. A subsequent 29 from Kai Hickey and Jarrad Leach put the game beyond doubt – Hickey’s strokeplay in particular drawing sublime applause from the appreciative crowd. With the game all but over after the first 2 pairs, Peter Lewis and Tiger Woods looked set for a little fun as they took turns peppering the back net and providing some entertaining moments for the onlookers, despite the odd wicket. Their skin of 24 putting the game well beyond reach and leaving our final pair of Nick Degrys and Justin Coetzee with the simple task of not getting injured in a ridiculous attempt to break a land speed record or mimic the newly coined ‘Todd-pump’. With the fizz well and truly out of the game, both teams simply went through the paces, leaving our Snakes with back to back zone titles in the 85-52 clinic. Congratulations boys and good luck in Adelaide as we once again seek to take out the title of the best team in the country. Back to News