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1986-87 CTPL Season & Grand Final Review

 

In the last round, reigning premiers University narrowly failed to pull off an outright victory over North Hobart which would have moved them ahead of second-placed Kingborough.  The ladder at the end of the roster series had Clarence (69) on top, followed by Kingborough (54), University (51) and New Town (42).

 

In the semi-final, Clarence was rescued by its tailenders Michael Granger (51), Michael Tame (31) and Mark Colegrave (20*) as it recovered from 150/7 to register 259/9 v New Town.  Despite a brave 110 by Kevin Treweek, New Town failed by 47 runs to surprise the minor premiers.  In the other semi, Kingborough lost its last six wickets for 74 and was dismissed for 210; in reply University, 77/1 overnight, took its score to 356/9 with Mal Brown (77) and Paul Lovell (78) enjoying the batting practice.

 

Winning the toss in the final, University made good use of its fortune; it sent Clarence in to bat and by stumps was 77/2 in response to Clarence’s 150.  University skipper Michael Street had no hesitation inviting the Roos to bat first on a wicket with a bit of life early in the day.  “We knew there would be movement before lunch but I was more worried about the weather closing us down than anything else,” he said.

 

Street could not have asked for more from his team in the field, especially West Indian import Eldine Baptiste who took 6/55 in an outstanding display.

Clarence had its back to the wall from the start losing openers Mark Powell and Andrew Rogers before a run was scored.  Powell was caught by Street off the bowling of Baptiste, while Martin Delahunty caught the other opener off Ray Brown.

 

Rob Gartrell was next to go after occupying the crease for 53 minutes for his seven runs.  All-rounder Ian Beven knocked up 25 in 97 minutes but the loss of Roger Woolley for one severely dented the Roos’ prospects.  Captain Roly Hyatt provided some stability with the top score of 43 – he batted for 132 minutes and his innings included eight fours.

 

Michael Granger (30*) and Michael Tame (33) again added respectability to the scorecard but any hope the total would be anywhere near competitive enough was dashed when Baptiste dismissed Kemp and Colegrave with successive deliveries.  Street took a great catch behind to dismiss Kemp while Colegrave made the long walk back to the pavilion when his stumps were shattered by a yorker.

 

The University openers Michael O’Byrne and Mal Brown ensured the team was given a good start with a 61-run stand, broken when Brown was dismissed for 32.  Graeme Farrell added nine before he was caught behind off Gartrell.  Hyatt used seven bowlers in the 35 overs sent down in the period to stumps, without further success.

 

The students continued to defy Clarence when play resumed the following day, although there was a slight hiccup when wickets fell at 95, 125 and 127 – all to Gartrell’s medium pace – and University moved into the lead before lunch with four wickets in hand.  Before then, Baptiste knocked up a quick 24 while paceman Nick Hansen joined in with 11.  Martin Delahunty (4*) scored the winning runs.  Opener O’Byrne, undefeated at stumps overnight with 33, batted through the morning session to finish with 59*.

 

When lunch was taken Uni was 158/6 and play was called off.

 

Rob Gartrell, the sixth Clarence bowler to be used, was the best of the trundlers, taking 4/37 from 16 overs.  The spin duo of Hyatt and Beven, so often match winners in the past, had no effect in the final.  Beven bowled 26 overs to take 1/53 and Hyatt didn’t bowl beyond the first day.

 

The biggest difference between the sides was Baptiste.  Uni skipper Michael Street was full of praise for him suggesting the TCC should look to secure his services as the Tasmanian import next season.  The final had the feel of déjà vu about it with University defeating Clarence in very similar circumstances the previous year.  “Last season we were the under-dogs with nothing to lose; this time around we had something to prove as the top team in the competition,” said Street as he claimed bragging rights.

 

Mercury reporter – Michael Moore