On the weekend of March 29/30 Wingham second Grade took on Taree West in the final of the two day competition at Rec 3.
Wests won the toss and sent Wingham into bat and opened with Andrew Cross and Denis Smith. It took seven overs for Wingham to get off the mark due to some tight bowling and a few nerves, but this seemed to be exactly what Wingham needed as a steady flow of runs kept coming. Cross was the aggressor and played some fine shots and, with Smith the perfect foil at the other end had moved the score to 0/56 at the first drinks break. But, as had happened in the past the drinks break worked in West's favour as Cross was dismissed for a well-made (40) in the first over after the break, and then Smith in the next over for (16) and then Jye Kliendienst run out for (1) the following over and Wingham had slumped to 3/59.
This brought Mitch Niven and Captain Matt Essery together and they set about restoring the innings and had moved the score to 102 before Niven was bowled for (16). Jessie Newman joined the Captain and the score was on 116 before Newman was bowled attempting a rash shot for (6). During this time Essery had been playing some fine shots mixed with a couple of let offs along the way as well. Robbie Hynes was next man in and added only (3) before he too was out. Next man in was Steve Allwood and along with Essery looked comfortable at the crease and had moved the score to 133 before a sharp reflex catch saw Allwood on his way. Rhyce Kliendienst came and went for no score and Wingham were in trouble at 8/138.
Tye Brislane was next in and in what would be a match defining partnership with Essery of 54 had moved the score to 192 before Essery was finally bowled for a pivotal innings of (70). Scott Blanch was last man in and he and Brislane had moved the score to 200 before Brislane was run out when he failed to make his ground. A Captains knock was required on the day and Essery didn't disappoint even though it wasn't his best innings of the season.
With 10 minutes of play remaining an unusually fired up Wingham took to the field intent on causing some damage on the West's batsmen. Brislane and Niven opened the bowling and the later unlucky not to pick up a wicket in his first over, but the first ball of Brisbane’s second over he clean bowled the dangerous Flemming for (1) and at stumps Taree were 1/5.
Sunday saw a very humid day and the Wingham team knew that they had to bowl extremely well to win as Taree West had scored 7/407 and 7/368 in their last two innings. Steve Allwood and Brislane resumed the hostilities and in the eighth over Allwood took the first of five wickets when he trapped the batsmen in front LBW. This brought Baker to join Marron at the crease who had scores of 191 and 70 in his last two trips to the crease, but with some excellent bowling he did not look comfortable and Allwood picked up this prise wicket when he was caught by Niven. Rhyce Kliendienst was brought into the attack and together with Allwood kept the pressure on the West's batsmen, Allwood removed Baker by removing his stumps, Kliendienst had Murray caught by Cross, Allwood then had Dixon caught behind and two balls later removed Ellis LBW and West's were 7/81 at the drinks break.
After the break Scott Blanch was introduced into the attack and in his second over bowled the dangerous Kris Ball. By this time Allwood had been rested after bowling a match winning spell of 5/18 of 14 overs of which were all bowled in a row. Niven replaced him and together with Blanch went about attempting to remove the last two batsmen for Taree. Blanch had Burgess caught by Hynes and the score was now 9/108, but in a stubborn last wicket partnership it was fitting that the Captain took the last wicket when he had the batsmen caught by Allwood.
Bowling figures Allwood 5/18, Brislane 1/23,Kliendeinst 1/40,Blanch 2/17, Essery 1/5 and Niven 0/24. Taree sent Wingham back into bat in hope of a miracle but with the score on 3/49 Cross (2), Smith (10), Jye Kleindeinst (5) Hynes (n/o 20) and Essery (n/o 8) the game was called off with Wingham the winners. This was a great effort by Wingham to win all three finals for the year the 20/20 the One Day and Two Day competitions. The Australian Hotel Player of the match without any doubt went to Steve Allwood with his inspired five wicket spell of bowling.