Under 13 1's GRAND FINAL - Eildon Park vs Knox Gardens - Karoo Reserve
After being undefeated all season 1st placed Eildon Park hosted 2nd placed Knox Gardens at Karoo Reserve in Rowville.
In a replay of last years Under 13 1's GRAND FINAL where the game finished in a nail biting tie, with Knox Gardens being awarded the Premiership with a higher finish on the ladder, both teams were eager to win in their own right. A rule change in the off-season stated that in the event of a tie, both teams would be awarded the Premiership. Like that will happen again!
Eildon Park won the toss and surprised Knox Gardens by bowling first. Zach Flintoff and Lachie Gray headed to the wicket to get the game underway. An early wicket to Eildon Park's gun bowler Tim Sugumar sent the competitions leading run scorer Lachie back to the pavilion for a duck. We lost batting gun Niraj DeSilva for 7 and Callum Craigie, Jarrod Fisher and Nick Jankovskis followed soon after. 5-45 and looking shaky. When Liam Woods went 1st ball we were in trouble. Zach was patiently turning the strike over and looking solid from his end. Ewen Doonan made 16 valuable runs and Rhys Harrison was great getting 12. Knox Gardens 7-72. The tail fell with Zach carrying his bat making a terrific 34 not out. Knox Gardens all out 114 in the 47th over. Eildon Park bowlers were fantastic with the pick of them being Tim Sugumar (1-7 off 6 overs), Vivek Kuppadakath (3-7 off 8) and Jake Pollard (3-14 off 8).
Runs on the board in Grand Finals are important but was 114 going to be enough against a side that was regularly making over 200 runs all season.
We opened with Ewen and decided to try something different and opened with our big spinning leggy Lachie. Our 1st wicket went to the ever reliable Nick Jankovskis which got the Knox boys going . Zach, Niraj, and Rhys bowled tight maintaining the pressure on Eildon Park. Woodsy was great in running out the other opener when he threw into Nick behind the stumps. Eildon Park 2-21. The game swayed Knox's way when Zach found himself on a hat-trick after knocking over danger men Jake Pollard and Tim Sugumar in consecutive balls. A good partnership between Mitch Siwek and Nick Wong got Eildon Park to 5-71 before Ewen clean bowled Mitch for 29. Liam Woods came on for two overs and took the big wicket of Nick Wong for 22. Jarrod and Joel were fielding like champions and Callum was doing a great job behind the stumps. Eildon Park took the advantage at 8-108 before a miraculous match winning catch in the gully by Paul DiBenedetto kept Knox Gardens alive. Then with scores level on 114 each, no more wickets left and 5 overs to go, the ball was hit one to square leg and the two tail enders took off for the winning run. Lachie at square leg pounced, gathered the ball and threw to Nick Jankovskis behind the stumps who whipped the bails off and the appeal from the Knox boys could be heard from the next suburb! The umpire slowly raised his finger...he's out! A TIE. All the bowlers were fantastic with Ewen (2-15 off 8), Nick (2-20 off 7) and Zach (2-13 off 7) the big wicket takers.
For the second year running the boys from Eildon Park and Knox Gardens achieved the remarkable....a tie in a Grand Final!
A shared Premiership was a fitting result for two teams that enjoy a great relationship off the field.