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Swifts-Great Western clinches back-to-back Grampians cricket titles

one short CRICKET 2018

Swifts-Great Western collected its 13th Grampians Cricket Association McDonald Shield, defeating Buangor-Tatyoon by 49 runs in a grand final at Stawell.
The Combine won the contest at Central Park during the long weekend in a match involving tough cricket – exactly what fans would expect from a final.
The result represented back-to-back titles for the Combine, a remarkable feat given six members of last season’s premiership team were missing from this season’s team.
Swifts-Great Western won the toss and, as usual, opted to bat first.
After the early loss of captain and prolific run getter Sam Cocks for five and number three Tom Eckel for three, the Combine’s innings became a hard slog thanks to some tight bowling from Buangor-Tatyoon and recognition from the defending title-holders that they were in for a battle.
At stumps on Saturday night the Combine was 7-137 with Matt Heffer, 13, and Matt Fitzgerald, 10, at the crease. Only opener Matt Delzotto, 20, and Rick Peters, 33, had made any significant contribution with the bat.
Buangor-Tatyoon skipper and strike bowler Michael Harricks had three wickets at that stage.
On Sunday rain delayed play until 3.30pm, when the Combine resumed its innings, reaching 158 when Heffer was dismissed, leaving Matt Fitzgerald to nurse the last two tailenders through the innings.
In a defiant stand, Fitzgerald added 11 runs with Lachlan Patching and a valuable 28 runs with number 11 Jayden McCartney and finished unbeaten on 53.
Harricks took his figures to 5-67 from 39 overs, which included 15 maidens. Other wicket takers were Lachy Oddie and Jack Fraser with two each.
This left the Combine with a defendable 195 runs and Buangor-Tatyoon’s innings started with a little over an hour to bat for the rest of the day.
But in that time, Buangor-Tatyoon lost 4-41 all to swing bowler Patching and included in that haul was the key wicket of opener Jacob Bates.
On Monday, Buangor-Tatyoon steadily advanced to 73 before batsman Shaun Allan lost his wicket.
More tumbled and when Liam Baker was out for 36 with the score on 116 the game slipped away from the Ararat district team.
A 21-run 10th wicket partnership between James Phillips, unbeaten on 16, and Henry Armstrong, seven, showed glimpses of a promising future for the new club, which managed 146.
Patching failed to add to his four wickets but finished the best of the Combine bowlers with 4-62.
The Steve Smith memorial medal went to the Combine’s Matt Fitzgerald for his unbeaten 53 while batting at number nine.

The entire March 13, 2019 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

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Posted on Mar 13 2019

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