Sunbury win a tight contest against Wallan to make this seasons McIntyre Cup Grand Final to be played verses cross town rivals and this seasons competition leaders Sunbury United at Langama Park.
A huge task awaits Sunbury 1st XI having been promoted back to the McIntyre Cup level just this season and making the Grand Final against minor premiers and odds on favourites, Sunbury United. Even though United have had the better of the two contests earlier this season, Sunbury with a more settled line up have found good form in the latter part of the season. Wallan also had Sunbury well accounted for on two occasions this season only to go down in the semi, Riddell had us on the ropes only a few weeks ago before collapsing and being eliminated from the finals race and leaving their supporters dumb founded. Yes, United, you may be the front runners in this contest but be reassured Jason has his team playing as a tight unit at the right time of year and don’t forget – you will always have the “blue army” to contend with!
Semi Final Match Report
Having secured a home semi-final due to last weeks outright victory proved a distinct advantage. The Clarke Oval is well suited to Sunbury’s game plan of tight hard cricket. The grand stand full of supporters wearing their blue colours were not disappointed.
Having won the toss and batting Sunbury got off to a flyer with A. Riggio finding touch with an attacking 24. Wickets fell early in the second half hour bringing Matt Burrowes and Heath Boffey together at the crease. Heath used his experience and applied himself reaching 24 before skying one, Matt showed grit in the heat of a finals battle making a solid 61 in the middle order and Captain Jason McGann again showed his true all round ability carving an excellent 62 n.o. while batting with the tail. All out for 221 off 73 overs.
Day two and the contest begins in hot conditions. Wallan were under pressure from the start with Jason McGann opening up from the pavilion end and Paul Newton attacking from the other. Paul breaks through immediately capturing an opener lbw and set the tone for the days play with aggressive tight bowling. Heath Boffey was introduced into the attack picking up two quick wickets and with great support in the field the visitors were starved of runs from both ends. Robbie Fowler provided the anchor of Wallans’ innings and together with A. Nichols a solid partnership was building and at tea the contest was even at 4/74.
Again Sunbury come out bowling well as a team knowing this was the key partnership that stood in their way of victory. An early chance goes begging off Steve Treweek as Wallan fight through the first half hour without losing a wicket but falling behind in the run rate due to the excellent bowing and fielding. With pressure building and forced to begin hitting out A. Nichols attempts a big shot over midwicket off B. Hunter only to be reigned in by an excellent running catch in the outfield by Matt Burrowes. These are the moments that can swing a game in your favour, especially in big, tight finals matches, the crowd knows it and the grand stand erupts in a sea of blue.
Getting further behind in the run rate required and losing the wicket of Gilchrist the task was all but lost as Robbie Fowler was finally dismissed in a gallant innings of 63 for his team. Wallan all out for 177, Brad Hunter reveling the pressure situation with 5/35 and Sunbury into the 2012/13 McIntyre Grand Final!