Prolific Dougherty strikes as Tucabia beats Tucabia


TUCABIA A batsman Matthew Dougherty readily admits he loves playing in the pressure of finals cricket.

The 21-year-old storeman cracked a magnificent century in the CRCA third grade grand final at Rushforth Park No.2 ground to help lead Tucabia A to victory over 'stablemates' Tucabia B, the minor premiers.

Dougherty's finals haul has been awesome.

On Saturday he scored 111 which followed his 134 in Tucabia A's win over South in the elimination semi-final and 95no and 86no in last week's final. That's a grand total of 426 runs in three high-pressure games.

"I don't know what it is, but I tend to play better in finals," Dougherty said nonchalantly.

"I just pretty much stuck my head down and the runs came.

"It always makes you try harder when the lads congratulate you after the game. It makes you want to go out next game and do it again.

"There's unbelievable camaraderie in this club, right through to Premier League."

Dougherty's innings contained a massive ten sixes and seven four's.

He moved to Grafton from the Hunter Valley in 2000, played one season with South Services in juniors and had several years away from cricket before linking with Tucabia this season.

Captain of the teenage tyros Nathan Dougherty said Matthew's innings 'put us into the box seat.'

After batting first Tucabia B made 241, Dougherty's century backed up by 41 from Andrew Webb and a solid start by openers Tom Finlayson (17) and Rick Gough (26).

"We had a bit of a slow start, but we were only one down after 25 overs and we just picked up from there thanks mainly to Matthew," Nathan Dougherty said.

For Tucabia B, Luke Kelly (5-38) and Ryan Whitton (3-36), bowled exceptionally well triggering a lower order collapse just when Tucabia A looked like mounting a massive total.

Tucabia B were in trouble almost immediately chasing 241 with Brendan Mitchell the chief destroyer. Tucabia B ended Saturday 2-17 with Mitchell chasing a hat trick on Sunday morning.

It didn't come off, but he continued to rip through the Tucabia B batsman finishing with 5-29 from nine overs.

While he missed the first hat trick, Mitchell ended Tucabia B's innings with three successive wickets ? Mitch Davis (4), Ryan Whitton (0) and Josh Sheather (0).

Tucabia B were all out for 88, Nick Whitton top scoring with 22 and Luke Kelly 21no.

"We're a young side and all really excited to win," Dougherty said. "We finished fourth and the Bs hadn't lost a game all year. There's plenty of competitiveness but it's a lot of fun.

"Brendan Mitchell and Jackson Wright, who got Steve Whitton, bowled really well.

"We've hot red-hot form with the bat and ball at the right end of the season."

Tucabia (A) innings 241: T Finlayson 17, R Gough 26, J Wright 12, M Dougherty 111, A Webb 41, N Dougherty 0, B Mitchell 2, D Hambly 13, D McPhee 0, R Webb 1, J Busby 4 no. Sundries 14. Bowling: M Mitchell 1/25, N Whitton 0/21, M Davis 1/43, J Sheather 0/48, R Whitton 3/36, S Whitton 0/29, L Kelly 5/38.

Tucabia (B) innings 88: S Whitton 4, L Worthing 0, B Hourigan 0, R Mitchell 10, N Whitton 22, J Webb 6, M Mitchell 0, L Kelly 21 no, M Davis 4, R Whitton 0, J Sheather 0. Sundries 21. Bowling: B Mitchell 5/29, J Wright 3/21, D Hambly 0/13, M Dougherty 1/20.

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