1991-92 CTPL Season & Grand Final Review
A lower order fightback by SHSB, recovering from 24/5, enabled the club to pass top team Clarence’s 196 and consolidate fourth place in the final round of the season, and, thanks to Brendan Wilson’s 109, Glenorchy, with 272/7, defeated University, 259/7, to clinch third spot. Final points – Clarence 57, North Hobart 54, Glenorchy 48 and SHSB 45.
A gritty 122* by skipper Greg Shipperd helped Clarence to 237/3 and past SHSB’s 236; and North Hobart was too strong, with Michael Di Venuto in good form, for Glenorchy – 174/4 to 171, to set up the second of four encounters between the most successful finalists in the TCA in the 50-year history of 1st grade finals.
Victory to Clarence would be the fifth in succession and equal the record created by the Wellington club between 1881-82 and 1885-86 achieved before the official premiership competition was established.
North Hobart set Clarence a formidable target after an intriguing first day of the final. Sent in by Clarence, North reached 285/9 in a day of fluctuating fortunes. Joe Holyman was North’s star performer with a bold 86.
North was off to a flyer with openers Damien Green and Mark Davis putting together a quick-fire 69 before the aggressive Green (44) skied an attempted pull off medium pacer Michael Tame. His dismissal marked the beginning of a vital stage of the match in which Clarence, led by outstanding bowling spells by Tame and fellow paceman Ian Connell, tied down North’s batsmen.
Connell was particularly aggressive with the wind at his back and troubled all batsmen in a magnificent spell of 17 overs (four maidens) which returned 2/29. He picked up the crucial scalps of Davis (34) and veteran Mick Taylor (20) to have North stuttering at 120/3 after 40 overs.
Tame then broke through when he snared the dangerous Michael Di Venuto – appropriately enough through a terrific catch by Connell who several overs earlier had unsettled Di Venuto when the batsman ducked into a short ball which failed to rise and was struck behind the ear.
After fifty overs Clarence captain Greg Shipperd was able to maintain three slips, gully, silly leg and a short backward square leg for the pacy Connell, but when his two quicks eventually tired North’s innings gained momentum. Holyman took charge by hitting over the in-field but he was fortunate to survive a confident appeal for a catch at the wicket when on 38.
When Di Venuto (15) and Rohan Catherall (17) were dismissed with the score at 198, North was suddenly six down and Clarence was back in the match.
Tame and Connell were brought back into the attack but, when Holyman was finally dismissed edging an attempted hook off Connell to keeper Matthew Lee, the score had reached 260, thanks to a hefty contribution by big paceman Chris Gulline (36), who joined Holyman with the total 234/7 and was last out near stumps, with North in control at 282/9.
Connell’s figures suffered as North raced to set a total late in the day, but he was the pick of the Clarence attack with 3/61 from 27 overs. Tame did the hard work bowling into the wind and deserved better than his 3/88 from 30 overs.
When play resumed the following day, with one ball Chris Gulline put North Hobart on the road to victory. That ball, the very first of the innings, cut back sharply to trap Clarence’s former state opener Greg Shipperd lbw for a duck! It was a body-blow the Roos never recovered from and the classy North Hobart unit bundled Clarence out for 141 in response to their own 285/9 declared.
Top scorer for Clarence was Gavin Cooney with 34 in 111 minutes, including three fours. Cooney and Allister de Winter (23) combined to help the home side stage a minor recovery, putting on 61 in 68 minutes for the 3rd wicket. But the ground won was quickly surrendered when de Winter, Cooney and captain Peter Schofield were all dismissed with the total at 84. When Mark Colegrave (0) and Duncan Hurd (7) fell at 92 soon after, the game was as good as over. Veteran Mike Tame added some respectability to score a defiant 31 in 54 minutes with four boundaries.
Wicket-keeper Joe Holyman had an outstanding match following up his 86 with three catches and a brilliant leg-side stumping on the second day.
The win achieved just six minutes after lunch on the second day gave North its first flag since 1978-79 and ended Clarence’s bid for five successive premierships.
It was a memorable day for captain Mick Taylor whose only previous premiership win as a sixteen-year-old had been playing for Highett in a VCA junior competition in 1971-72. “Getting Shipperd first ball was a terrific bonus for he was the player Clarence built its innings around, but it wasn’t until we had them 96/7 that we really felt we were going to win,” said Taylor, who praised his bowlers, especially Peter Di Venuto, who made light work of a hamstring injury to finish with 3/35 from 21 naggingly accurate overs.
“With Dave Gilbert out of the side injured, we realized we didn’t have the attack to blast sides out and had to bowl within our limitations and work to a plan. We did that very well and every time Clarence looked as though they might get back into the game we were able to pick up a couple of wickets. Importantly the bowlers were backed up by excellent fielding and catching.”
Mercury reporter – Peter Dwyer