my club played in the grand final in the ACTCA first grade comp.
this is the match report taken from the Weston creek website, so obviously its a bit bias in their favour.
its too big to fit on 1 posts, so ill do it across 2.
Undoubtedly Eastlake's strength was their batting line-up with a number of current and former representative players featuring and most of them in good form. But the Creek's all-round strength proved too much in the end and they crushed the Eastlake challenge inside two days to ensure that 2002/03 goes down as the club's most successful first grade season ever - the side swept the awards by winning both the Minor Premiership and Konica Cup one day titles earlier this month too.
The first day dawned overcast and muggy after steady overnight rain but thankfully the pitch at Manuka was unaffected with the covers doing an admirable job. Like any good deck it looked flat and hard with an even grass cover that held the promise of some early assistance to the new ball bowlers but nothing out of the ordinary for the first day of a three day game. Eastlake gambled on getting through the first session relatively unscathed when they elected to bat first, after Cade lost his "thousandth" toss of the season. Admittedly, "Charlie" had been prepared to bat first if he won the toss but of course there was about as much chance of that occurring as there is of "the Juggernaut" proclaiming himself to be in the best nick of his life!
The first half hour promised much for the Creek with the ball hooping and decking nicely but despite the positive signs the Eastlake openers managed to hold out till the 28-minute mark when Chris Grebert, top-scorer for Eastlake in the Konica final, nicked up Ben "Ox" Southam and presented Adam "Wookie" Hay with a regulation snare behind - Eastlake 1 for 11.
Eastlake's left-handed number three, Michael Kavanagh, has had a brilliant season scoring over 900 runs but run-scoring was the furthest thing from his mind for the next 27 minutes as he battled hard to keep his wicket intact in the trying conditions. Dan "Pretzel" Mowbray finally claimed him with a beauty that pitched on middle and off, forcing him to play, and moved just enough to claim the outside edge and present "Wook" with his second dismissal of the day - Eastlake 2 for 17.
The bowling figures at this stage reflected the dominance of ball over bat and the Creek's determination to outfield every opponent they encounter, "Southo" had 1 for 6 off 7 overs and "Pretz" 1 for 10 off 6.2 overs and the fielding had been outstanding!
If Eastlake could hold out till lunch without the loss of another wicket then they could possibly argue that they had won the first session, but at any rate it would have offered them the chance of resurrecting an innings that was leaking badly but the Creek had no intention of letting up just yet.
Shaun Williams had not been expected to play after shattering his thumb fielding for the Comets earlier in the season but he showed he is one tough cookie by playing with a plastic guard on his injured hand and opening the batting. Whether he was feeling the effects of the injury or whether he was trying to soak up valuable minutes he spent an awful lot of time making the bowlers wait at the top of their marks while he tapped the ground with his bat in one hand while holding the other up in the air in a signal that he was not ready to face up just yet. Either way it was an irritating spectacle but the Creek game plan in the field in recent seasons has been characterised by patience and despite being forced to wait another 29 minutes the perseverance was finally rewarded when "Super" Mick Garrety found his outside edge to remove Williams for 17 when the score was 37.
Four balls later and "Gaz" did the virtually unthinkable by removing ACT cricket legend, Peter Solway in possibly his last ever first grade game, for a duck when he bowled a "vicious" half-tracker wide down the legside only for "Sol" to spoon a high ball towards fine leg. Time appeared to stand still and the ball appeared to hang in the air for ever as it floated towards "Chester" and he moved in a few metres to position himself beautifully underneath the catch and clutch it to his midriff. No doubt about it - gesture number 1 with Eastlake's challenge in tatters at 4 for 37.
So it was that at lunch the move to bat first looked to have backfired badly with Eastlake 4 for 47 off 31 probing overs by the Creek. Mind you there was still a chance for Eastlake as they had weathered the remaining half hour of the first session without loss on a pitch that was looking increasingly batsman-friendly and one of their semi final heroes, Michael Dawn, was still at the crease on 17. Dawn had scored 96 in the win over Tuggeranong so while ever he was batting a large total was still possible.
Having shown little apparent interest in the task of scoring runs for most of his innings the Eastlake number five, David Miller, was just starting to come out of his shell with a number of aggressive shots suggesting he was ready to break the shackles. Most of these shots brought little return as they failed to pierce the field but the signs were there that it was time for the Creek to make another breakthrough before the Eastlake challenge got out of hand. Not for the first time this season "Gaz" and "Jock" combined to help the Creek out with the former serving up a tempter outside off-stump and as the batsman made strides down the pitch, as he appeared to have smashed it between the bowler and mid-off for runs, "Jocko" swooped. Moving sharply to his right from mid-off he took one step and then flung himself in a desperate dive that dragged the ball in at full stretch and followed up with a quick throw from his knees to the keeper's end. His direct hit just beat the batsman's desperate lunge for the crease and Eastlake were 5 for 86 - gesture number 2.
Eastlake continued to build a target for the Creek and it was another half hour before "Jock" was finally given a chance to bowl and three balls into his spell he produced close to the perfect leggie to remove the dangerous Mick Kendall. The ball pitched around six inches outside off, forcing the leftie to play it, then spun and kicked towards him and found a way through his defences to cannon into the top of middle and leg - Eastlake 6 for 121.
At tea Eastlake were 6 for 153 off 67 overs and there was no doubt they had fought their way back into the game and they had won the middle session.
After the short adjournment Eastlake's score continued to mount as the skies closed in once again and rain threatened. Dawn continued to play some cracking shots and he finally brought up his ton after 207 minutes and 190 balls approximately an hour into the final session. The Creek took the new ball as soon as it became available at 80 overs and with "Southo" hooping it immediately it was not long before he had Dawn nicking it to "Wook" with the score on 183 - gesture number 3. The "Ox" backed up a short while later with an LBW to reduce Eastlake to 8 for 195.
The rest of the final session belonged to Eastlake as their ninth wicket pairing put on an entertaining show and their score motored on to 8 for 226 when the umps called an early halt to proceedings, much to Eastlake's dismay, as bad light and an impending thunderstorm threatened the players safety. No further play was possible and 40 minutes in total was lost.
In order to make up the lost time play began half an hour early on day two and Eastlake continued where they left off the previous evening with both bats playing their shots and the score mounted quickly. It had reached 248 when "Southo" and "Gaz" combined to bring a halt to their unseemly haste. A short ball from the "Ox" was pulled away forcefully only for "Gaz" to stretch high to his right at mid-off and pull in a pearler as he bunted the ball down and completed the catch with both hands - gesture number 4.
After their disastrous start Eastlake had done well to reach 254 all out and at least they had given themselves some sort of target to bowl at. Mind you the pitch was now a belter and they would have to bowl very well indeed if they were to make inroads into the strong Creek batting lineup.