PUP LIGHTS UP: Tuc-Cop clinch dramatic night cricket title
NIGHT CRICKET: Fierce rivals Tucabia-Copmanhurst and Brothers contested the night cricket grand final last night and you couldn't have written it any better if you tried.
The Cleaver's Mechanical Twenty20 competition went down to the very last ball with Tuc-Cop Clarence Valley Pest Control sitting on 155 needing one run to win.
Brothers Clocktower captain Jake Kroehnert stepped up for the final ball and man of the match Brayden 'Pup' Pardoe (47 not out) delivered the knockout blow to seal the title by six wickets.
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Brothers won the toss and elected to bat, with Beau Sevil (42) Kroehnert (39) and Jack Weatherstone (22) leading the way for their side as they finished on 7/154 off the 20 overs.
Taine Riley (2 for 38 off 4) and Matt Pigg (2 for 10 off 4) kept Brothers on their toes but Kroehnert was confident his side could mount a strong defence.
"I thought that score was more than defendable. Our side did a good job with the bat I thought, Kroehnert said.
Tuc-Cop looked cagey in the opening overs as they gave chase to Brothers' score, but openers Matt Dougherty (36) and Blake Ryan (18) settled in well to lift the run rate early on.
Andy Kinnane (2 for 20 off 4) joined the attack with lethal force, taking the scalps of Ryan and Dougherty before Jack Weatherstone (1 for 9 off 4) sent Jaye Yardy (0) marching for a duck.
But up stepped Rohan Hackett (41) and Pardoe as the pair started smacking the ball around the park with seven four's and three sixes between them.
As a dramatic final over crept up, Pigg joined Pardoe after Hackett's dismissal but 'Pup' stepped up to finish the job.
"It started to get a little bit stressful when we didn't get too many runs in that final over. I started to get a bit nervous but we held our nerve and finished off the job," Pardoe said.
Pardoe and Pigg took no chances on the final ball, making the mad dash back for a second run to ensure their side took home the chocolates.
"We weren't sure if it was one or two so we just went for it," Pardoe said.
"It was good in the end. We didn't throw it away by doing anything silly."
Kroehnert said despite some of the errors his side made, he was happy with the contest on the night.
"We probably didn't field as well as we could have but in the end it was just a good game of cricket that went down to the last ball," he said.
"If you're going to lose, you'd rather lose like that than to get hammered.
"I think in a Twenty20 game when a bloke like Matt (Dougherty) gets going you obviously panic a bit but it only takes one good ball to change it. I knew that would come. We were on top for a little while but they dug their heels in and we dropped a catch or two then they went on with it."
Brothers and Tuc-Cop have developed quite a rivalry as the two sides continue to dominate Clarence River cricket.
"It's always good to beat them. The last couple of year it's been us and them up the top so it's nice to get one back on them," Pardoe said.
"It's a good rivalry, it's a friendly rivalry. It's on the field and not off it. They definitely got one up over us this time but hopefully next year we can turn around and beat them again," Kroehnert added.
With the GDSC Premier League steering towards finals, Kroehnert said he'd be happy to have another crack at Tuc-Cop in the coming weeks.
"We'd feel good meeting them in the finals. They've probably got the wood on us with a bit more experience but we're another year older this year and I think the way we played tonight, even though we lost, we will take a lot of positives and confidence out of it," he said.
"Hopefully we can build momentum going into the finals and if we do meet them again, I'm sure we can get one back on them."