Brother, what an innings
BROTHERS have ridden into the GDSC Premier League cricket grand final on the back of two match-winning performances from captain Brad Robertson and veteran Troy McLaren in a tense preliminary final against Harwood at the weekend.
On Saturday the young skipper showed immense maturity to hold his faltering team together with his third century in four games and yesterday veteran all-rounder Troy McLaren robbed Harwood of their chance to defend their premiership with a five-wicket haul.
Harwood came out hard against the young Brothers team, ripping through the top order to have the Brethren struggling at 4-42.
The Lower Clarence team was poised to run through Brothers until it came up against a rock in the shape of the skipper.
He survived a confident appeal for a catch behind early in his innings, but after that hardly put a foot wrong as he defied everything Harwood could throw at him.
He was able to bat with the lower order, enabling Brothers to score a competitive 237 just before stumps on Saturday.
Despite his own form, the captain praised the team for its ability to fight back when in trouble.
“All the team contributed. We batted around each other,” he said.
“It was 13 below a par score for that wicket, I thought. But it turned out to be enough.”
Disappointed Harwood captain Tim McMahon praised the batting of Robertson, but lamented lost opportunities to win.
“We had them yesterday, then let them off the hook,” he said.
“We should have got the runs. When Bones (Craig Moran) and Kane (Aeschlimann) were batting at the end they were in control. Then they played silly shots to get out.”
However, McMahon was pleased for Brothers veteran McLaren, who will play in his first Premier League final next weekend.
McLaren said playing with Brothers this season has given his cricket a 'new lease of life'.
“It's a great feeling to make a grand final,” McLaren said.
“To be truthful, there was time there today when I thought we might be gone.
“I came back on when they needed about 30 to win and was able to get a few in the right spot.”
McLaren did all the work himself, snaring the final three wickets, all caught and bowled for three runs.