1979-80 CTPL Season & Grand Final Report
Gale-force winds and stout defence by South Hobart’s tailenders were responsible for putting Clarence in the finals – but only just!. When wind stopped play at 5pm at Bellerive Oval, Clarence was facing certain defeat by Sandy Bay, who needed only 22 runs with nine wickets in hand for victory. The wind was so strong the umpires decided to abandon play as all the players and umpires had difficulty standing!
At New Town oval, South Hobart’s last two batsmen, Michael Allen and Ian Jarvis, defied New Town for 27 minutes to force a draw. Had Sandy Bay and New Town won, New Town would have played in the finals instead of Clarence. Final standings: Sandy Bay 74.1, South Hobart 59.2, Glenorchy 51.3 and Clarence 48.4 points.
John Smeaton with 142 was the star act in Clarence’s 18-run semi-final win over the minor premier Sandy Bay – scores: Clarence 277 d Sandy Bay 259 – at the TCA (Domain) ground; while at New Town, Glenorchy’s 141 was insufficient to stop South Hobart (145/7) from advancing to the final the following weekend.
An unbeaten century by South Hobart’s Kevin Treweek and a little help from the weather combined to snuff out what little hope Clarence had of forcing victory. Clarence really lost the game on the first morning before a ball had been bowled. Because of overnight rain which had made the wicket surrounds soft and dangerous, a start was not possible until 2.30pm – a loss of 230 minutes.
Treweek’s chanceless 121* (made in 244 minutes with ten boundaries), was the highlight of South’s innings, which ended at 332/5 at the compulsory closure after 120 overs. This left Clarence the impossible task of scoring 333 runs in the remaining 178 minutes available.
But when it comes down to the wire, Clarence can only blame its mediocre new-ball attack which failed to make the early inroads into South’s batting that skipper Beven had hoped for when he won the toss and put them in.
A 2nd wicket partnership of 94 runs in 100 minutes by Chris Baker and Tony Wade put South on the road to its big score. Wade, whose season had been interrupted by injury, looked his old fluent self in carving out 71 in 112 minutes (10 fours).
Resuming play on the second day at 135/3, Treweek and nightwatchman Michael Allen added a further 54 runs before Allen fell lbw to leg spinner Doug Wylie for 28; then ‘keeper Chris Hargrave joined Treweek to put a mortgage on the premiership with a 5th wicket partnership that yielded 137 in 118 minutes.
Denied the chance to make his mark with the bat, Colin Tully weighed in with the ball, grabbing Clarence’s first three wickets – one of them a controversial blinder of a catch by Mark Scholes at third slip to get rid of the semi-final century-maker John Smeaton for 2.
When stumps were drawn at the end of play 22 minutes early due to bad light, Clarence had struggled to 93/5.
Clarence captain, Ian Beven said, “It hardly seems fair when one side can bat out its allocated overs and the other can’t. I’m not saying we’d have won but it would have been a lot more interesting.”
South’s captain-coach Colin Tully agreed, “I don’t think the scores leave much doubt that we were the better side, but it’s hardly fair that the final isn’t played out until at least a first innings result is reached. It’s about time the rules were changed.”
Mercury reporter – David Stockdale