Wingham V United – Grand Final
WINGHAM versed United in the two day Grand Final played at Chatham Park on Saturday April 5 and Sunday April 6. Despite some rain earlier in the week the wicket was in good condition with a hard deck.
Day One commenced with United winning the toss and electing to bat. Laurie Weeks and David Burley opened the batting, facing Wingham bowlers Ryan Williams and Jonathon Craig-Dobson, who kept the run rate low with 29 runs off the first 12 overs. Michael Stinson and Brad Staff were the first change bowlers and Stinson soon had Weekes beautifully caught behind by Brock Hynes for (21). In the next over Staff bowled Burley for (14) and assisted in the run out that claimed Matt Kennewell. The score was now 3/48 off 18 overs.
At the crease were Ricky Campbell and Josh Ferris, the pair put on a solid partnership for 15 overs and added 55 to the score before Campbell was found to be lbw by Staff for (48) consisting of 7 x 4. Michael Couch joined Ferris and 60 runs were added to the score this was stopped when Ryan Williams was reintroduced to the bowling and had Ferris caught by Jackson Mullen for a solid knock of (39). The score was now 5/163 off 51 overs.
By this time Couch had his ‘eye in’ and proved to be the mainstay of United Innings; he was partnered by Dean Mills who was bowled by Williams (2); then, Matt Collier who was caught by a handy catch by Matt Essery off Mitchell Niven; next to go was Sean Carr who was caught by Craig-Dobson off Niven for (8). Finally Couch’s wicket fell when he was caught by Craig-Dobson off Staff for (65) consisting of 6 x 4 and a six.
The last two batsmen for United were Tom Burley and Jackson Witt who added 28 to the score. United were all out when Witt was caught Niven off Staff for (17), Tom Burly remained not out for (11). The final score was 10/242 off 78.2 overs. At 5.45pm the Umpires called an end to play due to bad light.
Best bowlers for Wingham were Brad Staff 4/56 (23.2); Mitchell Niven 2/28 (12); Ryan Williams 2/46 (16); Michael Stinson 1/43 (10).
Day Two - the rain that fell overnight meant that the Wingham Batsmen were batting on a ‘tricky wicket’. The Mullen brothers Jackson and Jake opened the batting with Jake losing his wicket to Sean Carr, who was to take a five wicket haul in this innings. Craig-Dobson joined Jackson Mullen who shortly after was bowled by Jackson Witt for (5); so in the first 15 minutes of play Wingham were 2/6 off three overs. Craig-Dobson and Brad Staff steadied play and put on a solid partnership of 41 before Craig-Dobson was caught Ricky Campbell off Michael Couch for (16). Brock Hynes joined Staff and the pair proceeded to add runs slowly and surely to the score, this effective partnership came to an end when Carr struck again and Staff was caught Dean Mills for a high earning (46). Hynes was partnered briefly by Essery who was trapped lbw by Carr; then captain Adam Carney was bowled by Carr for (4). Wingham were now 6/119 off 40 overs.
Michael Stinson joined Hynes at the crease and pair batted together for 12 overs in what was a profitable spell of 49 runs and saw Hynes claim his half century. Stinson was caught behind by David Burley off Tom Burley (24). Hynes continued on for one more over until he was bowled by Witt for a sensational (64) which included 9 x 4 and 2 x 6. Wingham were now 8/178 off 55 overs.
Ryan Williams and Dan Barber were at the crease when Carr claimed his fifth wicket having Barber caught Mills. This brought young Mitchell Niven to the crease and he and Ryan Williams (17 n.o.) played tactfully for the next 11 overs and got the score to 202 before Niven was caught and bowled by Witt. Wingham were 10/202 off 68.3 overs.
Best bowlers for United were Sean Carr 5/53 (21), Jackson Witt 3/69 (22.3) and Tom Burley 1/16 (5). United were the Grand Final winners.
The Grand Final match was an excellent game of cricket that saw twists and turns of events, strategy and tactics being applied, mounting tension and surprise as well as overall good sporting ability between two competitive teams.