The RSL/West Cannons have won their first Deniliquin District Cricket Association premiership since merging in 2006/07.SHAUN CONNOR February 27, 2014 4:50am
The RSL/West Cannons (back, from left) Liam Chaplin, Kyle Ives, Ted Eason, Matt Johnson, Pat Keane; (front) Jonty Tubb, Daniel Nisbet, Mitch O’Brien, Ricky Parks, Oliver Draffin and Ben Nisbet with Lindsay Woods and the Tom Woods Shield.
The RSL/West Cannons clinched their first ever Deniliquin District Cricket Association A grade premiership on Saturday, beating Hay by three wickets to secure the Tom Woods Shield.
Cannons batsman Kyle Ives hit the winning runs with just eight deliveries remaining in the match, while spinner Mitch O’Brien took 5-22.
It has been seven years since RSL and West merged, and 12 years since the 62-year old premiership shield was last won by West, and Cannons skipper Pat Keane said he couldn’t be happier.
‘‘It was unbelievable. I thought we could have easily rounded up Hay’s score but it got pretty tight in the end,’’ Keane said.
‘‘I give full credit to the boys after being a couple wickets down at the start of our innings to end up winning with a few balls left in the match.
‘‘Mitchy’s bowling was great and the celebrations after the match were even better.’’
The decider was played on Memorial Park’s no. 3 oval, the first time the DDCA has used the ground this season.
Hay won the toss and and chose to bat first, but the decision looked ominous from the outset with gun run-scorer Ben Holmes out for a duck in the second over.
It was paceman Daniel Nisbet who scored the breakthrough wicket, trapping Holmes LBW to get his side off to a roaring start.
Despite Nisbet bowling three maidens in a row to start his spell, and some tight bowling from Matt Johnson, Hay’s Jacob Watkin and Luke Arandt were able to put 52 runs on the board before another wicket fell.
The pair offered some clever batting with only one boundary being hit before Watkin (19) was caught and bowled by Oliver Draffin.
Hay skipper Ian Bunyan and wicketkeeper Mick Harrington, two dangerous batsmen, were both dismissed for six runs each by Ben Nisbet.
That left the Hybrids 4/76 with 12 overs remaining, but O’Brien only made their task more difficult.
The RSL spinner removed Arandt (29) in the 29th over and then tore through the rest of the Hay line-up.
Hay veteran Scott Wall (4) was given out LBW and Michael Jubb (5) and Blake Aylett (8) were both caught by Draffin off some deceptive O’Brien deliveries.
With a few overs to spare, O’Brien’s most euphoric wicket saw Dean Aylett (2) clean bowled before the Hybrids shortly succumbed to 9/114 after 40 overs.
With 114 the target, the Cannons failed to get lift-off when opening pair Draffin (0) and Ted Eason (7) were both run out within two overs.
Ricky Parks immediately made an impact when he hit the crease, belting a boundary to get off the mark, while O’Brien (7) contributed before being bowled by Bunyan.
Parks and Keane then pushed the score along some more with clever running between the wickets before Parks (21) was bowled by Dean Aylett.
Keane (15) was caught out not long after and the Cannons were 5/66 with 15 overs left.
Ben Nisbet (17 n.o.) set about pegging back the lead with a couple of singles and a boundary, but his partner, Jonty Tubb (4), became an LBW victim to Dean Aylett.
When Johnson (7) was also given out LBW, in the 33rd over, Ives made his way to the crease and quickly accrued runs to close in on the premiership.
With one over and two deliveries left in the match, Ives hit a four off Scott Wall’s bowling to end a thrilling contest and secure his team a memorable 2013/14 flag.
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