2003-04 CTPL Season & Grand Final Review

A last round win by Glenorchy over New Town and the surprise loss to Lindisfarne (the consequence of an outstanding all-round performance by Shane Watson who scored 300* and followed up with 7/29 with the ball) saw the premiership favourite, North Hobart, ousted from the finals race.  Watson’s triple century was the first such feat in TCA cricket since Charles Eady hit his world record score of 566 for Break o’Day v Wellington in 1902.


Final points were: Clarence 50.0, University 38.0, Glenorchy 35.6 and New Town 34.0; North Hobart with its complement of state players narrowly missed with 32.0 points.


The semi-finals produced the second triple century within seven days – Shannon Tubb contributed 342 of Clarence’s significant 549/6 declared, a target well beyond New Town’s capacity – although at stumps New Town had reached 259/8 to draw, with the minor premiers advancing to the final.  In the other semi, University could manage just 90 in reply to Glenorchy’s 246/9 declared to set up a replay of the 2002-03 final.


Sadly, the final proved an anti-climax with Glenorchy capitulating on the second day in response to another solid batting effort by Clarence.  The scheduled third day’s play was not required after Glenorchy surrendered rather meekly on the second afternoon for 193 giving Clarence victory by 219 runs and back-to-back premierships.


A blistering counter-punch by Damien Wright and Wayne Quarrell gave Clarence the upper hand on the first day of the final at Bellerive.  Coming together at 288/6 the pair averted a mini-collapse following the introduction of the second new ball; at stumps Clarence was 363/6 with Wright 81 and Quarrell 36.


Glenorchy quick Kelby Pickering had earlier dismissed Clarence’s captain Andrew Dykes for 29 to a controversial leg-side catch with Dykes standing his ground in disbelief as the Glenorchy players celebrated the breakthrough.  Next ball a regulation outside edge sent Grant Costelloe back to the pavilion and Quarrell barely survived the hat-trick ball, a delivery from around the wicket aimed at his ribs, fended off the splice of the bat and falling centimetres short of two close-in fielders.  From there Wright and Quarrell launched their counter-attack, scoring 74 runs from the final 54 minutes.


Earlier Dykes had no hesitation in batting after winning the toss, but soon experienced a setback when Tasmanian opener Scott Mason (6) played on to a delivery from Pickering, trying to play a hook shot.  His opening partner Ben Harris turned out to be the mainstay of the innings, scoring his second century of the season off 199 balls with eleven fours, sharing a 56-run partnership with Shannon Tubb (22), 86 runs with Mathew Wade (47) and 87 runs with Wright before being dismissed in unlucky circumstances.  Harris drove a ball from medium-pacer Robbie Dilger to get a low, fine outside edge that hit keeper Nick McGann on the pad standing up to the stumps and ballooned straight to a fielder at short gully.


For Glenorchy, Pickering was used sparingly but finished with 3/61 from 15 overs, doing his damage with both new balls, while Nathan Butterworth took 2/63.


Day two started brightly for the Magpies with Clarence losing its remaining four wickets in the space of 23 runs.  But the dream start turned into a nightmare as first Nathan Butterworth ran himself out for one and then Phil Mustard (9) and Robbie Dilger (3) both fell to TCA medallist Mark Colegrave to leave Glenorchy reeling at 16/3 by the lunch-break.


Glenorchy fought bravely for the next three hours, but a bold decision by Dykes to throw modest off-spinner Ben Harris the ball for a solitary over proved a masterstroke.  Harris induced a false pull-stroke from all-rounder Luke Butterworth on 90 and he was well caught by Colegrave diving forward at mid-on to start a collapse.


“Chinaman” Shannon Tubb cleaned up the tail as Glenorchy crumbled from 169/5 to 193 all out – the loss of five wickets for only 24 runs.  Tubb finished with 5/49 from 15.5 overs, his best return of the season, while Colegrave took 2/24 from 11 overs.  Butterworth was by far his side’s best batsman; his 90 runs including 15 fours (two-thirds of the Glenorchy total) in 134 balls against the Tasmanian Tigers’ new-ball duo of Gerard Denton and Damien Wright.


Glenorchy conceded defeat with a whole day still to play – their second successive heavy finals loss to Clarence in as many seasons.  Roos’ captain Andrew Dykes thought his side would have batted again and built on its 219-run lead.  “We were surprised they conceded but we will take it.”  Dykes’s Glenorchy counterpart Vaughan Williams said the Bellerive wicket was too good to even contemplate running through the Clarence batsmen.  “There was nothing to prove; they weren’t going to be dismissed quickly and our bowlers weren’t keen to bowl so there was no point going out there again.”  Williams said.


Ben Harris won his second consecutive player-of-the-match award for taking the vital wicket and scoring his 116 on the first day.


Mercury reporter – Brett Stubbs & Mike Gandy