1985-86 CTPL Season & Grand Final Review 

New Town joined Clarence, University and North Hobart in the finals after an outright win over Sandy Bay in the last round when paceman Ashey Luff (7/26) routed the Bay for just 39.  After New Town declared at 197/4, they then dismissed the Bay again for 156 for an innings win.  Final points were Clarence 76, University 59, North 56, New Town 46 and Sandy Bay 40.

No doubt buoyed by its forceful victory, New Town approached its semi-final against minor premiers Clarence with confidence and narrowly failed to produce a surprise win.  In response to Clarence’s 292/8 (Roly Hyatt 89*), New Town, bolstered by an excellent 158-run 2nd wicket partnership between Malcolm Wilson (89) and Keith Bradshaw (86), reached 286/7 when stumps were pulled – just seven runs short.


University also gave notice that Clarence would have to fight hard to win a record fifth premiership in a row when it compiled 388/8, spearheaded by 135 from opener Michael O’Byrne and 92 by Simon Hinks as the pair contributed 143 for the 2nd wicket.  In reply North Hobart’s substantial 305 was not enough to progress.


Rain and bad light again played a big part in the outcome of the final.  There was only three hours’ play possible on the first day and, with Clarence needing only a draw to annex the premiership again, the pressure was on the students to make the running; by stumps they would have been well pleased with their efforts.  When play was halted prematurely only 46.2 overs had been bowled but Clarence was in trouble at 104/6.


Clarence skipper Roly Hyatt won the toss and surprisingly elected to bat on a slightly damp pitch; opener Peter Schofield was out twenty minutes into the game when he was bowled by seamer Ray Brown for 5.  Mark Kerslake came in next and lasted 44 balls before being brilliantly caught at mid-wicket by Simon Hinks off Paul Lovell for 10.


Ian Beven and Scott Clark pushed the runs along to 73/3 from 33 overs before a combination of rain and light saw the umpires call an early lunch at 12.10pm; play didn’t get under way again until 3.10pm.


The next hour proved costly for Clarence as they lost the wickets of Clark (13), Beven (26) and Hyatt (6).  Brown captured the prize scalps of Beven and Hyatt to finish with 3/26 from 13.2 overs.  Ian Huck (4*) and keeper Michael Granger (0*) held the hopes of a revival when rain and bad light again intervened and the umpires called play to a halt at 4.10pm.  The light didn’t improve and play was terminated for the day at 5.15pm.


When play resumed on Sunday, Clarence were entitled to bat for 120 overs because of the lost time, but lost its remaining four wickets for the addition of only 17 more runs.  Ray Brown took 3/5 to improve his figures to 6/31 from 19.1 overs.


University was given the start it needed from Michael O’Byrne (41) and Malcolm Brown (38) who added 77 for the 1st wicket.  Simon Hinks looked in fine touch but with victory in sight he was a little too adventurous and lost his wicket for 16.  There was a slight hiccup when vice-captain Paul Lovell went for a duck with no addition to the score – 103/4.


Young University batsman Alistair MacDonald joined veteran Graeme Farrell at this stage and the pair closed down the match with MacDonald taking a single from Michael Tame to score the winning run for the underdogs at 2.10pm.   When Brown was run out attempting to assist Farrell to a half century off the last ball before tea, play was concluded.


Ray Brown was named Man of the Match.


First-year University skipper Michael Street said the win was the result of a season’s hard work and was pleased Hyatt had won the toss and batted.  “There was a lot of good spirit in the club and the 1st grade team.  We also had planned to bat first if we won the toss – a move which had paid off in the semi against North Hobart – but when I saw the wicket I had second thoughts about batting as there seemed to be some life in the pitch.”


Clarence’s defeat was the only loss incurred by the team all season.  “It was obviously disappointing to lose the last match of the season and miss the chance to win our fifth premiership on end,” said the losing captain, “In retrospect I made the wrong decision – I thought the wicket would have been hard for the bowlers to stand up.”


Mercury reporter – Michael Moore