Fire Brigade won the Goulburn Murray Cricket Twenty20 grand final on Saturday, defeating Stanhope by 13 runs.By Geordie Cowan
The first trophy of the inaugural Goulburn Murray Cricket season has gone to Fire Brigade after it defeated Stanhope in the final of the Twenty20 competition at Rochester on Saturday.
‘‘Even though it’s only Twenty20, it’s good to get a trophy for the boys,’’ he said.
Trevor Watts was next to fall and Andy Kent went soon after — thanks to a direct hit from the deep by Young — as Newman went on to finish with 46, eventually falling to Rohan Larkin after a brilliant catch on the boundary by Dearing.
Daniel Kent picked up where he left off from the semi-final to score 47 and, with a handy 19 from Paul Newman, the Flames finished with a good score of 8/151.
Dearing (2/21), Brad Lowe (1/24) and Rohan Larkin (2/24) were the pick of the bowlers, while Young also took two wickets.
Lowe gave Stanhope the best possible start in its reply, belting four boundaries off the first over from Dave Newman, but fell to Jarrod Chapman in the next over.
Chapman and Dave Newman combined to run out Tyler Larkin in the next over, before Young and Rohan Larkin (25) put on 40 runs for the third wicket.
Despite only taking three wickets in the first half of the innings, Fire Brigade’s pressure and consistent bowling had it on top as Stanhope needed a further 87 runs from the final 10 overs.
With the game in the balance at 3/94 in the 14th over, Nick Breslin turned the game on its head.
Breslin — only bowling after Daniel Kent suffered from cramp — dismissed Steve Hall and Jack Young in consecutive balls and, when stalwart opener Alec Young (31) was caught the next over, Stanhope was in trouble at 6/98.
Substitute fielder Josh Pell soon ran out Brian Cowie and ultimately the batting side did not have enough in the tank as Fire Brigade ran out 13-run winners.
Dave Newman said the team’s top order batsmen picked the right time to come good.
‘‘The last two games we’ve struggled at the top order, being 5/22 today (in the semi-final) and 5/2 the other night (in the quarter-final), so it was good to finally get some runs early and take the pressure off the lower order,’’ he said.
‘‘(Stanhope) got away from us early with Rohan Larkin and (Brad) Lowe, but we were able to pin them back and get the win.’’
The captain paid tribute to man-of-the-match Breslin, as well as Chapman, Daniel Kent’s two innings and brother Paul for his knock.
Stanhope captain Brad Lowe was proud of the way his team fought out the game, but bemoaned the lack of one batsman to go on and make a big score.
‘‘We just didn’t have that bloke who would be the platform of our innings,’’ he said.
‘‘Good effort by the boys to make the final and it was a really good win (in the semi-final) earlier on.’’
The captain also praised the contributions of the consistent Alec Young, Rohan and Tyler Larkin and the bowling of Zac Dearing.
Goulburn Murray Cricket vice-chairman Colin Price said the final wrapped up what had been a fantastic event.
‘‘Thank you to Rochester Tigers and Rochester United for hosting the games and how good it was to play the two semi-finals simultaneously on two great grounds at Rochester,’’ he said.
Seeing a crowd of about 150 people at the final was also pleasing, Price said.
‘‘It was good to see some people here,’’ he said.
‘‘There was quite a few spectators during the course of the day.’’
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