1972-73 CTPL Season & Grand Final Review
Kingborough defeated University in the final roster match to swap places in the four (on percentage) with the students. Final points – North Hobart 60, Sandy Bay and Glenorchy 51, and Kingborough 39.
The great injustice of the finals system came to bear when third placed Glenorchy was denied entry to the final by inclement weather in its encounter with Sandy Bay at the TCA (Domain) ground. Thanks to two superb innings, from Mike Hyland (156* in 348 minutes (18 fours)) and Ian James (107 in 161 minutes (12 fours)), who added 168 for the 4th wicket, the Magpies amassed an unassailable 373/7. The next day Sandy Bay batted for ten minutes – play commenced at 1.55pm and was finally abandoned at 2.40pm.
An equally disappointed Kingborough watched the rain ruin their hopes too. Having scored 225 and then holding North Hobart to 42/3 by stumps, the Knights were frustrated when only ten balls were bowled at New Town oval and play was cancelled at 2.20pm – saving North as well from possible embarrassment.
North’s decisive victory in the final was a triumph for their new coach, Tony Benneworth. The club must have gambled when they appointed the twenty-three-year-old state all-rounder – one of the youngest ever coaches in the TCA – but Benneworth certainly justified their faith in him. Benneworth scored an invaluable 105, returned the best bowling figures of the match – 3/26 off 9.7 overs – and fielded brilliantly. His shrewd field placings and bowling changes also helped to overcome the vigour and talent of Sandy Bay, and his chief weapon, paceman Les Appleton, was the main ace in Benneworth’s winning pack.
Probably most of the breaks went in favour of North Hobart but the 103-run win was indicative of their superiority. There were several turning points in what was, for the most part, a delicately poised and desperately fought struggle.
North would not have reached their respectable 284 but for Benneworth’s century and some fine rear-guard batting. Benneworth came to the wicket at 21/2 and left 239 minutes later at 217/8 after belting eleven fours. Then bowler-batsmen Don McLeod (22) and Gary Brakey (44) added 52 for the 9th wicket to change the fortunes of the game.
There was early drama in the game of sensations when Sandy Bay fast bowler Peter Fulton was ordered out of the bowling for the rest of the innings after sending down only 3.2 overs. He was twice warned by umpire Lance Cox for running down the wicket at the northern end, and when he offended again from the other end umpire Jim Stevens ruled he could not operate again.
The Bay had North in trouble at 63/4, before Benneworth and Gary Maynard combined in a 5th wicket stand of 65. After a return from Patterson had accidentally hit Benneworth on the arm, Maynard appeared to lose concentration and he was bowled for 32. Benneworth’s innings was not without luck; he was dropped twice by keeper Leigh Batchelor on 38 and 60, and survived a confident lbw appeal from Chris Saunders when on 30.
Sandy Bay’s most productive bowler was Stewart Palfreyman with 3/45 from 19 overs on a perfect batting strip; Patterson finished with 3/105 from 31 overs.
The Bay’s hopes slumped when Patterson (22) was caught at the wicket off Benneworth to put the Bay 55/2, but it was Gary Brakey who struck an even greater blow when he had skipper Brent Palfreyman caught at deep third man when the score was 89. Palfreyman had taken 110 minutes for his 37 but was starting to look good. From then on North held the initiative. When Geoff Falkingham threw down the wicket from mid off with Batchelor out of his ground, ending a bright 47 in 97 minutes, it was the beginning of the end with Sandy Bay 160/6. Clive Simpson (19 in 145 minutes) held up the North attack, but the tail contributed little.
North sent the Bay in again to eliminate any chance of losing and with the pressure off Sandy Bay made 138/1 with Patterson scoring 65. With Stewart Palfreyman (47), he enjoyed an undefeated 96 2nd wicket partnership.
Mercury reporter – Gordon Burnett