Brendan James is mobbed by his Iluka teammates after taking an absolute screamer to remove key Harwood batsman Matt Young in the Lower Clarence Cricket Association Maclean Bowling Club First Grade preliminary final at Barry Watts Oval in Maclean on Saturday, 14th March, 2020.
Brendan James is mobbed by his Iluka teammates after taking an absolute screamer to remove key Harwood batsman Matt Young in the Lower Clarence Cricket Association Maclean Bowling Club First Grade preliminary final at Barry Watts Oval in Maclean on Saturday, 14th March, 2020.

Iluka keep their cool to win way to LCCA grand final

LCCA CRICKET: Iluka have earnt a chance at grand final redemption when they booked their spot in the LCCA Maclean Bowling Club first grade decider after defeating Harwood in the preliminary final Saturday afternoon.

In a low-scoring clash thanks to a damp Barry Watts Oval outfield from days of rain, Iluka won the toss and batted first but found runs hard to come by, with the wicket playing a few tricks and Harwood spearhead Tom Mullins (5 for 20 off 5.4 overs) exerting pressure.

Iluka managed to reach a total of 74 off 28.4 overs, helped by Josh Lane (20) and Jon McEwen (27), who were the only two batters for Iluka to reach double figures.

In reply Harwood didn't fare much better, with Iluka's seam attack of Jared Barber (4 for 17 off 8) and Dean Bartlett (3 for 6 off 8) helping to skittle their opponents for 51 off 32 overs.

Iluka captain Zac Newton said he was glad his side could earn the win in difficult conditions.

"It was a very low scoring game, the outfield was quite damp and the wicket was playing a few tricks," he said.

"It was a difficult batting track and the wicket did play a few tricks, I don't think a boundary was hit all day. There were a few tired blokes after the game with sore legs from running all day.

"Jon McEwen and Josh Lane looked the most comfortable out of anyone in the middle, everyone else seemed to struggle."

Jared Barber starred with season best figures of 4 for 17 off 8 overs in Iluka's win over Harwood in the Lower Clarence Cricket Association Maclean Bowling Club First Grade preliminary final at Barry Watts Oval in Maclean on Saturday, 14th March, 2020.
Jared Barber starred with season best figures of 4 for 17 off 8 overs in Iluka's win over Harwood in the Lower Clarence Cricket Association Maclean Bowling Club First Grade preliminary final at Barry Watts Oval in Maclean on Saturday, 14th March, 2020.

While Newton said while there was some concern their total of 74 wasn't going to be enough, they were ecstatic with their fielding and bowling performance.

"We were a bit sceptical that we could pull it off but we were really positive, held onto our catches and had a few decisions go our way," he said.

"We never gave up, everyone did their job and that was what won us the game in the end."

With Iluka set to take on reigning premiers Maclean United in the grand final this weekend, Newton said the side was ready for the challenge, a replay of last season's grand final.

"Hopefully we can go out there, have fun and get one up on them," he said.



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