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1998-99 CTPL Season & Grand Final Review

 

The ladder positions after the final roster matches saw North Hobart with 114.61 lead University 110.93, Clarence 109.22 and Kingborough 98.52.

 

Minor premiers North Hobart and University confirmed their places in the TCA final after contrasting semi-final results.  University defeated Clarence outright by an innings and seven runs while rain washed away any chance Kingborough had of winning its match and defending the title it had won the previous two seasons.  But the Knights were up against it.  Chasing North’s 465/6 declared, they did well to get to 109/1 before the rains came mid-afternoon forcing the abandonment of play.  North Hobart’s mammoth innings was dominated by state all-rounder Shaun Young who racked up the highest score in TCA cricket for almost a century.  His innings of 278 took 315 minutes and included 20 fours and 11 sixes.

 

While the runs flowed at Bellerive Oval, at New Town it was a different story all together.  After Clarence was dismissed for 82, the Students achieved a first innings lead (100/4) by stumps on the first day of play.  The pitch dominated the second day; University managed to extend its score to 120 with Clarence taking the last six wickets for only 20 runs, then, batting a second time, the Roos were routed for 31, with the University skipper, Brad Thomas, adding to his impressive first-innings figures of 6/33 with an amazing 7/7 off ten overs.

 

A patient 105 by University opener Tony Daly helped his team to 214/8 at the close of play of the final played at Bellerive Oval.  Daly brought up his century with a classic off-drive from the first ball of the 89th over, but added only another five runs before being dismissed; he received 285 balls during his innings, which lasted 319 minutes and included ten fours.

 

Daly received excellent support from Graeme Blundstone who contributed 37 (five fours) in a vital 5th wicket stand worth 109 runs scored in 153 minutes.  They rescued the Lions from 54/4 just after lunch and batted through the rest of the session, Daly bringing up his fifty along the way.

 

Mike Smith also provided a useful 20 towards the end of the innings and shared a 31-run partnership with Daly for the 6th wicket.

 

North Hobart spinners Tony Judd and Daniel Marsh along with accurate medium-pacer Shaun Young shouldered most of the bowling responsibility and maintained a tight line all day.  Judd was the most successful capturing 3/67 from 29 overs, including six maidens, while Marsh ended up with 2/51 from his 29 overs, including ten maidens, and Young, 2/24 from 17 overs with six maidens.  Myles Harry, who opened the bowling with Young, conceded only twelve runs from his nine overs.

 

Sent in to bat, University had the perfect start with Dene Hills scoring a boundary off Young’s first ball; however, the all-rounder took revenge on his Tasmanian team-mate in the fifth over when he trapped Hills in front for eight after the left-hander failed to offer a shot, the wicket falling with the score on 15.

 

Eight more runs were added in the next eight overs before Young enticed James Kingston (2) to edge a ball into the safe hands of Harry in the slips.  University skipper Brad Thomas then joined Daly and they carried the score past 50 in the 31st over but, just when lunch was beckoning, Marsh had Thomas lbw for 14 attempting a sweep shot.  The Lions went to lunch at 54/3 off 35 overs with Daly looking very secure on 28.

 

Disaster struck straight after the break with George Campbell caught behind off Marsh for a duck with the score at a tenuous 54/4.  However, Daly and Blundstone forged their partnership which provided the University bowlers with a reasonable target to defend on day two.

 

A superb 95 from stand-in opener Ben Donaldson helped North Hobart to victory.  Promoted after regular opener Stuart Cobern broke a bone in his right hand while fielding on the first day, Donaldson was never in trouble and grew in confidence as his innings progressed.  He figured in a match-winning 3rd wicket partnership of 144 with captain Dan Marsh who hit a solid 78.

 

Donaldson’s fifty came up off 100 balls but he missed his maiden 1st grade century when caught in the covers by Hills for 95 with North Hobart within 13 runs of victory.  He occupied the crease for 263 minutes, faced 172 balls and hit eleven fours.

 

University played without luck and had a number of close decisions go against it while infrequent showers made it tough for the bowlers.  However the Students didn’t help their cause by dropping sharp chances off Marsh and Donaldson.

 

Rowell made the early breakthrough for University, bowling the dangerous Todd Pinnington for three in the third over.  The in-form Shaun Young survived two confident appeals off consecutive balls from Thomas’s sixth over but added only two more runs before being brilliantly caught low down by Hills at mid-wicket to have North 34/2 in the 18th over.

 

This brought Marsh to join Donaldson and the pair took North to lunch at 71/2.  A heavy shower meant 25 minutes and six overs were lost but it mattered little to Donaldson and Marsh as they batted through the shortened session to reach 158/2 at tea.  Marsh survived a close caught-behind appeal when on 39 and Donaldson was missed on 55.

 

Eighteen runs were added after tea before Marsh mistimed a pull shot off Mulcahy and was caught at midwicket for 78.  His innings came in 159 minutes off 118 balls and included seven fours.  When Rowell bowled Myles Harry for a golden duck next over there was a glimmer of hope for the Lions, but Donaldson took to the attack and carried the score to 202 before he was dismissed.

 

Paceman Greg Rowell bowled well to finish with 3/84 off 23 overs and Kieron Mulcahy took 2/38 from 16 overs.

 

Celebrating his first 1st grade premiership, Marsh said he was relieved his decision to send University to bat had been vindicated.  “We usually like to bat first and we had four spinners in the side but I wasn’t really sure about the pitch and thought if there was anything in it it would be early.  We did well to get Dene Hills early although Daly batted very well for his century and I thought the 214 target was gettable.  We had a couple of tense moments but Donaldson was superb and it was great to see a guy who usually bats down the list get an opportunity and star in the final.”

 

Mercury reporter – Colin Chung