Some wins just mean more.
Our club suffered a significant setback approximately four (4) seasons ago when then A Grade skipper, Matt Chapman, moved away for work which led to a mass exodus of A Graders from the club forcing us to drop out of A Grade for the 1st time in WCC history.
Whilst the immediate on-field results were obvious, that exodus did allow the club a chance to hit reset on our club culture, which anyone involved in the club knows has never been stronger than it is now. It’s amazing what a group of individuals collectively pulling in the same direction can achieve and we saw the results of that on the field on the weekend.
Turning to that match now, we lost the toss & Nairne Cricket Club unsurprisingly elected to bat 1st. The dangerous Burgess Bros weren’t able to grasp the early breakthroughs that they are accustomed to but were able to restrict the dogged Razorbacks openers to a meager 17 runs after 10 overs. Cooper Leckie got the initial breakthrough, bowling Nairne skipper Ryan Williams with a peach. From there, regular inroads were made with the Razorbacks slumping to 6/81 after 30 overs & crucially, Hayden Biddle had sent the Razorbacks’ middle order destructors, Chris Farrell & Nick Melvin back to the sheds for just 12 & 6. To their credit, Nairne fought back with contributions from Darren Milton (31) & Matthew Sowden (23*) lifting them to 7/131 from their 40 overs. The pick of the bowlers was Ryan Watt with 3/19 from 8 whilst skipper Harrison Burgess finished with 1/15 from his 8.
The Echidnas’ run chase made a similarly slow start, with the match in the balance at 2/29 after 12 overs. From there, opener Connor Burgess was joined at the crease by fellow 16 year old, Ryan Davies, who played a counterattacking 23 from 29 deliveries before departing with the score on 64 in the 22 over. Connor (46) was then joined at the crease by Tim Chynoweth (28*) with the two moving the score past 100. Connor eventually fell with the score on 105 after 31 overs, leaving the Echidnas needing 27 runs for victory with 54 balls & 7 wickets remaining. The Razorbacks kept battling, however, taking a further 3 wickets & taking the match almost to the final over before Ryan Watt hit the winning runs on the last ball of the 39th over.
Connor Burgess was deservingly awarded the medal for player of the match, capping an incredible rise from a permanent No. 11 last season to the Alexandra & Eastern Hills Cricket Association A2 Grade leading runscorer this season at age 16 with 537 runs (583 including the GF).
Commiserations to the Nairne players who fought valiantly to the end, with many of them making a point to specifically congratulate our players after the match.
A few quick notes:
– After starting the season 1-3 & losing last season’s two leading run-scorers and leading wicket-taker, it is truly staggering to think we’re standing here barely four (4) months later with a maiden A2 Grade Premiership;
– At just 19, Harrison becomes the youngest Premiership Captain in Senior Cricket in WCC history; and
– At 16, Connor almost certainly becomes the youngest player in WCC history to be named player of the match in a Seniors GF.
Up the Echidnas!!!