1974-75 CTPL Season & Grand Final Review
Kingborough replaced Sandy Bay in the final four following a controversial last over win against South Hobart. On the final roster afternoon, when no play should have been possible, the respective captains (Peter Murfett and Ian Harris) of South and Kingborough agreed to start play at 3.34pm and the umpires held them to their decision, carrying on play in atrocious conditions in poor light and rain. With bowlers hardly able to keep their feet, and fielders sliding on the wet turf, the Kingborough batsmen progressed from 117/7 and, with 22 minutes of play remaining to score 33 runs, reached their target with number eleven batsman, Bob Godfrey playing a ball through the mud for two runs for victory on the fifth ball of the last over. In similar circumstances the equally important University v Sandy Bay match started at 4.15pm but was abandoned after only four balls had been bowled.
Final standings: Clarence and University 58, Glenorchy 56 and Kingborough and Sandy Bay 55.
The following weekend, the two leading teams, Clarence and University progressed to the final when the semi-final round was abandoned without a ball being bowled with Glenorchy and Kingborough moth-balled as debate raged about the use of covers, or more importantly the extent of protection afforded, with suggestions put forward that new 120ft x 40ft polyfabrics should be purchased by the TCA for use in important matches.
The elimination of Glenorchy and Kingborough meant that there would be a new premier club on the record books as neither Clarence nor University had won before. Clarence was worthy favourite and with statistics supporting the view that bowlers usually win the big matches (Clarence had six front-line bowlers), and with the threat of weather intervening, University had to win to take the title.
All that meant little to University and in a dramatic, sustained bowling effort the Students dismissed Clarence twice in four hours’ batting time to win the premiership by an innings and 50 runs after being sent in! Chasing 211 to win, Clarence was all out for 62 ten minutes before lunch, after being 35/2. Following on, they were dismissed for 98 just before tea on the second day.
Paceman Ray Brown had the match figures of 16/6/39/7 and captain-coach Graham Mansfield 17.2/4/44/7.
The wicket had a bit in it early and Patterson did not hesitate to send University in, expecting Graham Stokes to get lift and pace off the wicket in gusty conditions. But Stokes had back troubles after the second ball of the game, and was well below his best form.
Bob Cotgrove top scored for the match with 41 and Mick Norman rescued University after they had been 29/3, but they were in real trouble at 114/6. Patterson then strained a groin muscle, and his absence in the last hour caused Clarence to falter badly and the University tail wagged. Ray Brown hit 33 in a disciplined knock that lasted 86 minutes, and with his later bowling success he earned the man-of-the-match honour.
The Clarence attack bowled without luck, Ross Price and Patterson being particularly accurate, but it was surprising Michael Tame did not get more than one over on a wicket that took cut from the outset and provided catches that were not taken by the aggressively placed field.
Clarence opened brightly but lost opener Peter Roberts when he flashed at one outside the off stump; when last man Bill Curtis went at 62, of which fifteen were sundries, to a ball he made no attempt to play, it was a commentary on the innings as a whole.
Mansfield who came on at the pavilion end to replace Brown after only two overs, appealed very confidently for a scooped up catch behind the wicket by Brian Correy, but it was turned down by the umpires after long consultation. But it was Brown who got the prized wicket of Patterson, shaping up to play a shot to leg and then withdrawing his bat to be bowled leg stump. Brown had 4/2 from his last six overs after changing ends and Clarence lost its last five batsmen for ten runs in 36 minutes.
Only Ian Crowden (40 with five fours) in a stay of 77 minutes and Graeme Treweek, with 22 in 56 minutes, offered any fight in Clarence’s second innings. Despite Paul Cossum being unavailable with a foot injury, the University attack was relentless and received excellent support from the fielders. Ian Fraser took a magnificent one-handed diving catch to his right to send back Stokes, after that player had been dismissed in the first innings by a grand slips catch by Cotgrove.
It was the most convincing win in finals history and much of the credit must go to Mansfield for moulding a good even side into a championship unit, in only his second year of coaching.
After the game Mansfield said his team had done everything asked of them, and it had been a team effort. Clarence skipper Brian Patterson said that whereas University batsmen had played and missed many deliveries on Saturday, Clarence batsmen had got touches and had been caught. “That was the difference.” he said.
Mercury reporter – Gordon Burnett