2004-05 Season & Grand FInal Report
TCA grade cricket received a financial boost when national telco Vodafone accepted a naming rights sponsorship deal.
There was little between the eventual finalists for most of the season and the standings at the end of the fourteen round roster reflected their evenness: North Hobart 60, University 56, Clarence 54 and SHSB 48, with Kingborough 36, Glenorchy 34, New Town 22 and Lindisfarne 18 in the bottom half. With its quartet of state players North Hobart was always the trend-setter; and with individual performances from Jon Dakin and Shane Stewart holding sway during absences by the state players, North was never going to miss the finals as it did in 2004. Glenorchy disappointed but had success winning the state-wide Kookaburra Cup title, and with Kingborough and Lindisfarne looked to its youth to rebuild for the future.
Adam Polkinghorne (SHSB) was the TCA Cricketer of the Year for the fourth time with 59 wickets and former Westbury batsman Dane Anderson (Glenorchy) led the batting with 952 runs.
Inclement weather washed out play in the last round and threatened the final series but the semis were played out with predictable outcomes. Jon Dakin (114*) power-housed North to 349 in its match against SHSB which managed just 189 in reply while the other preliminary saw a closer match as Clarence struggled to 205 (Brad Thomas taking 6/64) but under pressure University fell short by 16 runs; Mark Colegrave also returned the figures of 6/64 to deny the Student’s hope of another premiership and set up yet another clash between the two most successful clubs in the TCA.
Grade Final Match Report
Clarence, chasing its third premiership in a row, was the underdog. Despite the absence of leading paceman, Shane Stewart, the Demons were strengthened by the inclusion of state players Daniel Marsh, Adam Griffith and Sean Clingeleffer; Clarence benefited from the return of Damien Wright. Veteran paceman, Mark Colegrave would set a new grand final appearance record – 12.
First year skipper Grant Costelloe won the toss for the reigning premiers and he inserted North on a wicket offering some early life. Few expected to see North’s top-order crumble as it did, including the three big guns – Dighton, Clingeleffer and Marsh – all in the pavilion without firing a shot. When Marsh was caught at mid-off off a leading edge, North had dug itself a huge hole at 28/5.
But a series of team performances and annoying partnerships from the last six batsmen allowed the tail to frustrate the Roos’ bowlers and when the Demons were finally dismissed for 225 – a competitive total given their strong bowling line-up, the match was very much in the balance.
After scoring a century in the semi-final, former English county all-rounder Jon Dakin continued his good form by posting the only half-century. He and fellow veteran Miles Harry refloated the sinking ship, adding 77 for the sixth wicket. But the Roos rued two missed chances off Dakin – a straightforward edge muffed behind by keeper Matthew Clingeleffer with Dakin on 27, and the score at 65, and a tougher chance by Mark Colegrave diving forward at mid-off after Dakin had added a further eight runs.
Following Dakin’s dismissal for 51, Harry was the next to go, trapped leg before by the left-arm seamer Martin Stirling after contributing a stubborn 146-ball 33. When David Collins (20) fell the same way to make it 129/8, it appeared the Roos would be chasing less than 150. But Chris Free and captain Adam Griffith went on the attack, adding 34 before Free fell to Colegrave on 35. Griffith (35*) then found support from Patrick Doherty, adding a valuable 42 in a tenth-wicket partnership, to take the score to 225.
Colegrave came under some attack in the final session – he started his final spell with 3/21 from 20 overs, but his final two wickets cost 42 runs from 8.2 overs. However Clarence’s elder statesman was superb with his control of swing and accuracy. He picked up three wickets in the first session assault with valuable assistance from Damien Wright (2/72). To cap off a remarkable season, Colegrave (36), registered his 60th wicket for the season when he took the final wicket of Doherty, caught behind to a regulation edge.
The second day mirrored the first with Clarence’s top-order suffering a massive first session collapse, only for its lower order batsmen to rebuild the innings just as North’s did the previous day. Needing to chase down North’s 225, the Roos’ chances looked hopeless at 37/5, then 137/8, on the back of sustained pace from the two big North Hobart quicks Adam Griffiths and Jon Dakin.
Clarence captain Grant Costelloe had endured a horror year in his first season as skipper with the bat and injury. He went into the final with just 76 runs at 8.44, and only one run in three innings after Christmas; however with a determination to guide his team to victory from the adversary it had placed itself in, Costelloe played the best innings of the final.
Wicket-keeper/batsman Matthew Clingeleffer provided stoic support and the pair took the score to 200 when the new ball was taken. This decision could not have come early enough for Adam Griffith who got one to bounce on a Costelloe cut-shot and the edge was well aught by Marsh at first slip to end an excellent 167-ball innings of 73. Clingeleffer (30) was joined by Colegrave and the pair continued to tick the scoreboard over, but with the score at 211, Clingeleffer scooped an attempted off-drive straight to Damian Mizzen at mid-on to end Clarence’s fight-back. It gave Griffith and Dakin four wickets apiece, with Griffith claiming the scalp of his state new-ball partner Damien Wright (38) caught superbly by Miles Harry at gully, diving forward to an edged drive. Harry also chipped in with the key wicket of Andrew Dykes (11), caught behind just before lunch, which devastated Clarence’s top-order.
North’s openers Mizzen and Guinane were able to hold out the ten overs to stumps from Colegrave and Wright to give the Demons an overall lead of 32 runs.
The final day saw North hang tough to win the premiership. None hung tougher during the last-day arm wrestle than David Collins. Despite having to bat with a runner because of a strained quadriceps, Collins toughed it out with captain Griffith to get North out of strife at 145/8 in its second innings. Collins made 17* in 100 minutes out of a total of 178/8 after pacemen Wright and Colegrave had the Demons reeling at 65/5 and then 145/8.
Such was the destruction they wrought that only all-rounder Jon Dakin and wicket-keeper Sean Clingeleffer provided any resistance. Man-of-the-Match Dakin top-scored with 48 in 119 minutes, with four fours and one six, while Clingeleffer contributed a gritty 23.
Wright cut a swathe through North’s top order before tiring under the weight of his 32-over work-load to finish with 5/64, including eleven maidens. His partner Colegrave was meaner than Scrooge with runs at the other end, taking 2/42 off 28 overs, including twelve maidens. But when they tired, none of the other bowlers could winkle out the lower order.
The battle finally ended after mutual consent at 5.20pm.
“We both are very proud clubs and neither of us was prepared to give an inch,” said Griffith, who earned his second title of the season after being a member of Tasmania’s winning ING Cup team against Queensland. “Clarence had us on the ropes there early, then we fought back and they fought back again. It was really topsy-turvy for the whole game and David and I just had to block it out till the end. After playing in nine or ten finals, he knows how to handle himself when the chips are down. It’s always a new-ball wicket here and we just had to fight our way through that against some very good bowling from Wright and Colegrave.”
Report by David Stockdale and Brett Stubbs (The Mercury) and Michael Gandy