With the rivalry established over the season between the Easts Piranhas (2nd) and Concord Briars White (1st), the grand final was set to be a close one. What a game it was, with Easts overcoming injuries and a strong opposition to prevail by 6 runs!
Concord won the toss and elected to bowl. Our openers, Rehaan Shyam Sundar and Hugo Wise, faced down the tightest bowling the team has faced all season and both retired unconquered after 30 balls. Conor Pepper played a great “number 3” knock and Sid Basham, promoted on the day due to injuries to “number 4”, batted solidly. A poor return for good shots on a slow outfield left the lads at a modest 2/33 after 15 overs. Following the drinks break, Conor and Jimmy Milne took the bowling on and added 45 runs in 6 overs before both retiring unconquered. Impressively, the Piranhas scored 88 runs in the second 15 overs to set a defendable total of 121.
The coaching panel then had to scramble to put out a full fielding team with the original ten reduced to seven fit players. Fred Robertson (unwell and initially just attending as a spectator) gritted his teeth and put the wicket-keeping gloves on. Also, 7 year old James Cowan was called up as a substitute fielder (for the unwell Willem Bongardt) and played with his older brother Charlie. Edward Copping with his broken arm also briefly fielded for an ailing Remy McKay.
It was a good start with the ball, Charlie steamed in for his signature intimidating opening overs, partnered by Hugo who claimed 2 wickets in 2 balls, leaving Concord 2/2 off 2 overs. Sid and Forbes Blackstone kept the bowling tight with Concord 2/39 after 15 overs. Concord surged in the middle overs and needed 38 off the last 7 overs. The result could have gone either way! From that point, our captain Rehaan superbly managed the field placements into the close. Conor bowled a wicket maiden with Fred gloving a beauty, Hugo held a ripper catch in the deep off Rehaan and the screws were tightening. It came down to the last over with Concord needing 13 to win. Charlie removed a batsman with a magnificent ‘Starc’ like yorker, then closed out the victory with Concord 6 runs short!
The lads showed great self-belief, played positive cricket, supported and covered for their injured team mates, adapted to new batting and bowling line-ups and demonstrated composure and maturity beyond their years. A memorable win and a great way to cap off an outstanding season of cricket, friendship and development.