Dolphins finish the season with three wins over Bankstown

A season that started with so much promise came to a shuddering halt for Easts Dolphins in the final round of the Sydney Premier Cricket season. 

Given Easts needed a bonus point win to have a chance of sneaking into the finals, the huge 204-run margin of defeat was in part brought upon by the attempt of chasing a mammoth target in 30 overs. 

The task of gaining the bonus point against Bankstown was made near impossible when they posted 5-331 from their 50 overs. 

In reply only some fleeting brilliance from 19-year-old Baxter Holt (60 off 30) and Nic Maddinson (26 off 8) provided hope as Easts were all out inside 20 overs for 127. 

The end to the season a disappointing one, given Easts sat second on the ladder at the Christmas break. A combination of injuries and drop in form seeing the Dolphins finish the season in 11th place.

Second Grade continued their late-season surge with a thumping bonus point win at Waverley Oval.

After Bankstown raced to 0-51, the Dolphins bowling group put the brakes on through regular breakthroughs, with Matt Sarkies, Nathan Rowe and Jack Preddey each picking up two wickets. In the end the Bulldogs were all out for 173 in 43 overs.

Needing a bonus point to be a mathematical possibility of sneaking into the finals, Easts went in with an attacking mindset.

Harry Byrnes Howe smacked 23 off 8 balls to start the innings and Peter Lazarus (52 off 54) and Preddey (77* off 60)kept up the momentum as Easts reached the target in just 23 overs for the loss of four wickets.

After starting the season winless in the first four rounds, Easts finished in 8th position, winning eight of their last 11 matches.

In Third Grade, Easts qualified for the finals but not with the performance they’d hoped for.

Bankstown batted well to post 6-259 with Angus Palmer (2-34) and JJ Coutts (2-43) the only multiple wicket takers.

In reply, Easts were never in the hunt and were all out for 192 with Andy Coles (46) and Alex Tunnadine (44) the only batsmen to make contributions. 

The Dolphins will play minor premiers Parramatta in the first week of the finals who they defeated only two weeks ago.

In Fourth Grade, Easts did well to post 9-198 from 50 overs on a very slow Trumper outfield with Sam Powell (38) and a late flurry from James Hooke (37*) helping them get there.

In reply, Easts built pressure through disciplined bowling and it was Michael Quinn who reaped the rewards with an outstanding spell of 4-17 off 9 overs. It was made more significant as in doing so he surpassed 250 wickets for the club and will earn a place on the honour boards at Waverley Oval. Well done Quinny! 

In the end Bankstown were knocked over for 129 as Easts finished in 11th place with 8 wins from 15 games.

A blistering 77 not out off 63 balls from Finnbar Stenmark and a five wicket haul to Alex Brooks led Fifth Grade to a 30-run win in their final game.

Easts posted 262 with Stenmark’s innings containing no less than five sixes. Nathan Moxey also scored 57 off 61 balls at the end of the innings. 

Brooks in his 100th match was the star with the ball, adding to his contribution of 45 with the bat taking figures of 5-50 from 10 overs.

The win meant Fifth Grade finished in 10th place with 45 points.

In the Club Championship, Easts finished 9th out of 20 teams with Third Grade qualifying for the finals. They’ll play Parramatta at Merrylands Oval this Saturday and Sunday. 

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