After seven cricket premierships, Bamawm-Lockington United has been beaten by Echuca in the Goulburn Murray Cricket C grade grand final.By Zach Hubber
Echuca claimed its first C grade premiership in more than 20 years on Saturday when it defeated Bamawm-Lockington United by 32 runs at Victoria Park.
The win brought BLU’s premiership streak of seven to a halt as Echuca cemented a near-perfect Goulburn Murray Cricket season, losing just one match.
Echuca captain Rod Perry said it was a fantastic achievement by his side.
‘‘I was captain when we lost to BLU two years ago,’’ he said.
‘‘They say you have to lose one to win one, which in this case is true.
‘‘We were pretty determined not to slip up.’’
Echuca won the toss and elected to bat, with opener Max Beard needing 10 runs to bring up his 1000th C grade run for the season.
But the fairytale was not to be as BLU bowler Jake Arnott struck in the second over to dismiss the danger man and have the home side at 1/1.
Robinson and Perry pushed the score to 27 before Robinson (8) was trapped lbw by BLU captain Nick Roffey, only for Perry (19) to fall nine runs later and Echuca was 3/36.
A steady 62-run partnership between man of the match Xavier Kelly (33) and Ben Hearn (34) restored the minor premier’s innings.
The pair faced 16 overs until Hearn became James McPhee’s (1/10) only victim when he was bowled after spending almost an hour in the middle.
From there the wickets were more frequent.
Echuca was 4/98 with eight overs remaining, but the likes of Paul Hon (3), Chris Hinks (6) and Brandon Byrne (7) could not trouble the BLU bowlers.
The home side lost 5/32 to finish its 40 overs at 9/133.
Arnott was the pick of the bowlers with 4/16 — his best figures of the season — while Roffey (2/18) and Brett Munro (1/15) also claimed scalps.
BLU required 3.35 runs an over and Taylor and Roffey were more than happy to start the innings patiently.
The pair saw out the first six overs for 13 runs before Roffey (4) sent a Tyson Russell delivery to Beard and handed Echuca its first wicket.
Steve Holt joined Taylor at the crease and pushed the total to 29 before a misjudged single was punished by a direct hit at the stumps by Kelly to dismiss the dangerous Taylor for 17.
Jacob Gardiner was out for a duck the next over when he was trapped lbw by Russell (3/25) and the visitors were 3/29.
Holt and Arnott tried to steady the side, but Arnott (3) had no answers for a Kelly delivery, which cleaned up his stumps.
Holt followed him back to the stands not long after, another lbw victim, which left BLU struggling at 5/51.
A 28-run stand by Eric Bish and Munro provided hope for the reigning Campaspe Cricket Association champions, but Kelly (2/13) killed off any hope when he had Bish out for 23.
The run rate had petered out to 4.07 with 13 overs remaining, but when Brad Mundie was dismissed for a golden duck, Echuca had one hand on the shield.
Byrne (2/20) had an impact towards the end before Rick Nathan (2/14) combined with Robinson to clinch the premiership.
BLU finished all out for 101 in the 34th over, with Munro (26 not out) the last man standing.
Perry said he always thought his side had enough runs on the board to defend.
‘‘Having 130 at Vic Park is like having 180 anywhere else,’’ he said.
‘‘We knew we were a huge chance if we got to 100 because we always thought our batting depth was a bit better than theirs.’’
He said his bowlers kept the pressure on the BLU batsmen throughout the afternoon and forced the wickets.
‘‘We had a really good period when we bowled four or five overs and they got one run off them,’’ he said.
‘‘With five wickets down it was going to be tough to keep the run rate going with no batters in the shed.’’
Perry praised the performance of Kelly, describing his run out as the highlight of the day.
Roffey said the run out was probably the turning point of the match.
‘‘It was probably our best bowling and fielding effort for the season,’’ he said.
‘‘The bottom line is we just couldn’t get enough partnerships with the bat in order to get that score.
‘‘We thought when Taylor got run out it turned the game a bit.’’
He said Echuca was a deserving premier, but was pleased his side fought out the match.
‘‘Obviously we’re disappointed we lost, but we had a wonderful year and had eight new players in the grand final from last year,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s great for the club moving forward.’’
The win was Echuca’s fourth premiership for the season, adding to the club’s B grade, under 14 and under 16 premierships.
Chris featured in the C grade win, while sons Matt and Charlie won the under 16 and 14 premierships respectively.
Two naval ships that share names with Goulburn Valley towns have been involved in surveying around the Torres Strait for the last year.
Most people at the J C Lowe Oval left on Saturday evening talking about the game but not the result. Pigeon Coach Chris Kennedy summed up the feeling adequately when he said after the game; “it was a frustrating game, but my players weren’t responsible for the frustration.”
The move to extend the Tatura War Memorial area and honour Victoria Cross hero Robert Mactier with the erection of a statue in the Hogan St gardens named in his honour, continues.
Police are appealing for help in locating a missing Cohuna man who they believe was last seen in Echuca on May 12.
The Elmore Events Centre has received a $500,000 grant which it will put towards the centre's $1.1 million upgrade.
Time is running out to nominate local businesses and individuals for the inaugural Kyabram and District Business Awards.
Ten people were injured after Two Australian Light Armoured Vehicles (ASLAV) collided during a training course at the Puckapunyal Military Training Range in on Wednesday, May 22.
The Finley Apex Sports and Community Centre has secured a $500,000 grant from Regional Development Australia.
A fire on a historic bridge on the Heathcote Spring Plains Rd is being treated as suspicious.
Koonoomoo’s recovery from a tornado which hit the township in March is continuing — but this weekend the process will take on a lighter note.
The Roos, after losing four games in a row, have won their second straight with an 80-point thrashing of Picola United.
The Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) is investigating incidents of abortion or still-births under the Lamb and Kid Mortality Surveillance Project.(LKSMP).
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