WARRIORS have successfully defended their Proserpine Cricket Association title with an 80 run win over Canecutters in Sunday’s grand final.
It wasn’t as easy as it sounds however, with Cutters right in the game until they lost their fifth wicket chasing an achievable target of 171 runs for victory.
With the game in the balance however, Warriors captain Bryce Fraser showed great leadership with a match winning spell of 3-24 from 7.3 overs, inducing a Cutters collapse – all out for 90.
Mick Crossley also chipped in during this period, helping his skipper clean up the tail with two of his three wickets as he recorded match figures of 3-13.
Earlier in the game though, Cutters ensured a contest by reducing the hot favourites to a relatively small total with some great bowling.
Canecutters’ new ball pairing of Corey Lucht (3-26) and Lachlan Jeffries (2-36) did a superb job to remove Warriors’ top order as the rest of the leather flingers played their part in keeping a powerful batting group in check.
Unfortunately, their fielding was not up to the same standard as they put down an astonishing 11 catches during the Warriors innings.
The Warriors fielders on the other hand were on song and the first catch of the innings by keeper Luke Glindemann to dismiss Dwayne Guthrie was brilliant as was the return catch taken by Fraser to dismiss his opposing captain Craig Brown.
Despite their fielding lapses, Canecutters were right on top at first drinks after Warriors elected to bat first after winning the toss.
Lucht and Jeffries had reduced Warriors to five down for just 70 runs while the minor premiers leaned heavily on Fraser, who played a lone hand in the top order to take his score to 32.
After drinks he found an ally in Darren Alderton and the pair dug in to put on 37 valuable runs before the skipper tempted fate once too often on 46 and Dylan Lynch held the catch.
Alderton continued to work the ball around with a number of partners, Adam Passfield (13) the most notable until he fell to Ken Todd on 33.
In reply, Cutters openers Dave Steven (22) and Dwayne Guthrie (17) began the run chase in positive fashion and had 21 on the board inside six overs before the rot began to set in.
Glindemann’s fantastic effort running 30 metres back under the miscued Guthrie hook shot was all that was needed for the Warriors confidence to rise.
They never looked back for the rest of the game and although Steven was gallant in a losing side, none of his team mates could hang around long enough for Cutters to mount a reasonable challenge.
His scalp in the 35th over pulled a curtain down on the cricket season.
At a glance
Warriors 171 def Canecutters 90