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2001-02 CTPL Season & Grand Final Review

 

Lindisfarne led the standings at the end of the roster series but fell over to Kingborough in its semi-final encounter after a disastrous batting collapse.  The season ended prematurely for the premiership favourite dismissed for 109; Kingborough moved through to the final after losing just three wickets – 112/3.  In the other semi, North Hobart turned the tables on Clarence after posting 232, North contained the strong Clarence top-order to record a comfortable 67-run win.

 

In the last roster match North narrowly defeated Kingborough and the season’s form pointed to another close encounter in the final which would be played over three days with playing provisions altered to allowed each team to face 125 overs before a compulsory declaration.

 

Final standings were as follows: Lindisfarne 99.50, North Hobart 98.87, Clarence 95.08 and Kingborough 94.43.

 

Bowlers dominated the first day of play at Bellerive.  Winning the toss and electing to bat, North Hobart openers Geoff Valentine and Todd Pinnington dominated the first hour with Valentine, playing against his former club, the early aggressor.  Their fifty partnership came up in the thirteenth over, although Valentine was living dangerously, surviving a certain run out when a shy at the stumps missed with him well out and later edging a ball which fell short of second slip.  His luck finally ran out with his score on 35, and the total at 86, when he was smartly snapped up by keeper Eric Monaghan moving in front of first slip.

 

Ben Donaldson survived a close lbw before he scored but Pinnington had no such luck when he was bowled for 47 (six fours) by Hodgson with a ball which kept low.  Donaldson and Myles Harry survived to lunch at 115/2 but the second session belonged to Kingborough as the remaining eight wickets fell for the addition of only 65 runs.

For once North Hobart’s usually reliable middle order failed to contribute as Swards and Hodgson cleaned-up.  Only Donaldson with a gritty 43 (three fours) and Paul Collins (11*) managed to reach double figures.  The star performer was paceman Luke Swards, who bowled 21 overs unchanged for his best-ever 1st grade return of 6/81.  Robert Hodgson captured 4/61 from 18 overs in support.

 

As in North’s innings, Kingborough openers Steve Stubbings and Stuart Clark looked comfortable in reaching 37 before Clark (23) was adjudged lbw to Adam Griffith.  By stumps Griffith had taken 2/23 from 13 overs, Harry a tidy 1/10 from eight overs and Matthew Pascoe 1/44 from 11 overs.  The match was evenly poised with Kingborough closing at 83/4.

 

Resuming play the following day, Kingborough lost Tim Scott on the third ball from Griffith.  Skipper Peter Di Venuto and David Collins then carried the score to 113 before Di Venuto was caught for 36 (four fours) and one run later Eric Monaghan followed him back to the pavilion.  David Collins, who’d occupied the crease for 101 minutes for a most patient five runs, became Griffith’s fifth victim and Kingborough went to lunch precariously placed at 133/8.

 

The middle session saw the remaining Kingborough wickets fall; only Jamie Knott, with a defiant 31* (four fours, 79 minutes), providing any resistance and the Knights were dismissed for 151 – 29 runs in arrears of North’s first innings score.  Paceman Adam Griffith finished with the most creditable figures of 6/50 from 30.5 overs, including 17.5 on the trot.  Pascoe was the other multiple wicket-taker with 2/60 off 24 overs.

 

The Demons’ second innings started badly with Pinnington caught on the boundary for five, hooking the last ball of the fifth over from Hodgson.  Fellow opener Valentine was the next to go, lbw to Hodgson for 21 with the total at 39/2 but Harry and Donaldson saw their side safely to tea at 54/2.

 

Hodgson broke through again with the last ball of the first over after tea when he bowled Donaldson (23).  Paul Collins joined Harry and made a quick-fire 16 before being well caught by Stuart Clark at short cover with the total at 81/4.  Damien Mizzen and Harry then put on the most significant partnership on the innings, scoring 51 runs in 58 minutes from 88 balls when disaster struck.  Harry was adjudged lbw for 32 (four fours), and with the first ball of the next over Mizzen (25) was caught behind off Knott and North’s innings was in trouble at 132/6.  It was in disarray by stumps after Hodgson removed Templeman and Griffith to have North Hobart 146/8 – just 175 ahead.  Kingborough’s medium pacer Robert Hodgson was well rewarded with his 6/31 from 17 overs.

 

North’s tail wagged – Paul Guinane, Matthew Pascoe and Luke O’Shea contributed 33 more valuable runs to reach 179 on the morning of the third day to set Kingborough a target of 209.  Jamie Knott claimed the last two wickets for Kingborough to finish with 3/42.

 

The Kingborough second innings never got started with Pascoe and Griffith reducing the Knights to 46/5.  Tim Scott tried to put some life into the innings clubbing 24 from as many balls – including a huge six off Griffith over the grandstand before Pascoe uprooted his stumps with the total on 67/6.  Spinner Luke O’Shea then got into the action bowling both Knott and David Collins to leave the Knights 88/8.

 

Swards and Baden Ribbon ensured the game went into the final session, hitting out until O’Shea trapped Swards in front for 17, and when Griffith bowled Ribbon for 21 the celebrations started.

 

It proved a final dominated by the bowlers with no batsman from either side managing to pass fifty in four completed innings.  Kingborough’s Hodgson finished with ten wickets for the match, man-of-the-match Griffith nine, and Pascoe and Swards six apiece.

 

“It was nice to have two first-class bowlers to open the attack,” said North Hobart captain Myles Harry, who hinted he could retire after winning his fifth first grade premiership, the first as captain. “It was a wicket which certainly wasn’t easy for batsmen and we had the attack to take the advantage.”

 

Kingborough’s captain Peter Di Venuto said seeing off Griffith and Pascoe was the key to Kingborough winning.  “Unfortunately we could not do that, but full credit to them because they bowled superbly.”

 

Mercury reporter – Colin Chung