1997-98 CTPL Season & Grand Final Review
The last round of the roster programme again provided surprises. North Hobart ensured its place in the finals with an outright result over Lindisfarne who slipped to third, and Kingborough claimed second spot after defeating Glenorchy outright. Clarence held on to top place despite losing its first game of the season to New Town. Final standings were – Clarence 136.75, Kingborough 127.39, North Hobart 122.97 and Lindisfarne 123.16, then daylight.
The semi-final at Bellerive between Clarence and North Hobart was an outstanding match. North’s opener Todd Pinnington carried his bat to score a magnificent 211* out of his team’s 313, yet this was not enough to contain the minor premiers, Clarence (348/8), with captain Andrew Dykes, enthralling those who watched, hitting a brilliant 189.
In the other semi Lindisfarne was contained to 244 by Kingborough, who convincingly stormed into the final when it posted 246/4.
Kingborough made a dream start to the final after sending Clarence in; Gerard Denton trapped Grant Costelloe in front with the first ball of the match. His dismissal brought the dangerous Andrew Dykes to the wicket but after scoring a cautious 14 he too was trapped lbw, this time by the other paceman, Robert Hodgson, before a rain squawl sent the players off for a short break in play. Apart from delaying the action, the rain did nothing to stop the fall of wickets with opener Rod Marshland, fending at the first ball of Denton’s sixth over, picked up by Jarrad Wickham at short fine leg for two with no addition to the score and Clarence was struggling at 17/3.
Ben Harris and Duncan Hird brought up Clarence’s fifty in the twentieth over as Denton was replaced by Hodgson at the northern end, the first spell earning him 2/20 from 10 overs. The change brought immediate success for Hodgson when Harris, on 8, tried to pull the fourth ball but only succeeded in hitting it high on the splice and providing Tim Scott with an easy catch at short leg – 50/4.
The situation became desperate for Clarence when Hird, who’d just dispatched Peter Di Venuto to the boundary to take his score to 25, guided the next ball into the safe hands of Williams in the gully.
That dismissal brought Roger Woolley and Matthew Clingeleffer together and they saw their team to lunch at 57/5. This pair was to become Clarence’s saviours for they battled through the middle session and combined for a 116-run 6th wicket partnership before Woolley was dismissed for 70, made from 126 balls in 160 minutes, including seven fours and a six.
Clingeleffer continued his defiant innings and found a willing partner in Mark Colegrave – the duo adding 63 in a run-a-ball 7th wicket stand before Clingeleffer was also out with his score on 70. He was at the crease for 229 minutes, faced 189 balls and hit six fours. Vital runs were added by the tail and there was some relief in the Clarence rooms with a score of 257 to defend.
The Kingborough attack was led by Denton who troubled all batsmen with his pace and short deliveries, four of which resulted in wickets, in an excellent haul of 6/69 off 25.2 overs. Hodgson (2/56 from 23 overs) and Peter Di Venuto (2/39 off 18 overs) were the other successful bowlers.
On the second day, the Knights got away to a poor start when Stuart Clark was caught by Dale Wickham for four off the last ball of Colegrave’s first over. That brought Michael Di Venuto to the wicket and he immediately set about the bowling. With Daniel Elliott almost a spectator at the other end, he raised his fifty off only 57 balls. The dashing left-hander was out ten minutes before lunch with the score at 97 when he cut Darren Smith to backward point where Grant Costelloe took a good diving catch. He‘d made 59 from 72 balls in 102 minutes, with six fours and a six.
Kingborough went to lunch at 106/2 but lost two quick wickets after the break – Elliott pushed a catch to Costelloe at short cover off the bowling of Smith to be dismissed for 20, followed soon after by Tim Scott (17), brilliantly stumped by Clingeleffer off leg-spinner Wickham.
Peter Di Venuto and Jarrod Williams came together with the game in the balance and the score on 124/4; and Kingborough could have been in more trouble had Wickham held a hot chance off his own bowling when Peter Di Venuto was on six and the score 140. Slowly but surely, he and Williams not only steadied the innings but began to accumulate runs, helped by some uncharacteristic fielding errors late in the afternoon.
At tea Kingborough was 199/4 with Williams on 40 and Di Venuto 34; Williams was first to reach his half-century, his push through covers also bringing up the 100-run partnership. Di Venuto brought up his fifty shortly afterwards, his effort taking 117 balls with seven boundaries. The Clarence captain changed his bowlers regularly in an effort to find a breakthrough but to no avail.
Kingborough achieved victory when Di Venuto pushed for two runs through covers to take his own score to 59 and the team to 259/4, with Williams also undefeated on 67. Their partnership had accumulated 134 runs.
Smith and Wickham were Clarence’s best bowlers, taking 2/51 off 19 overs and 1/16 from 24 overs respectively.
Kingborough had claimed back-to-back premierships, a feat last achieved by the club in 1933-34.
Mercury reporter – Colin Chung