Yamba claims crown
A GRAFTING 71-run partnership between Yamba skipper Matt Ardrey and senior player Dan Kirk guided their team to grand final triumph over Harwood in the Lower Clarence Cricket Association competition.
The minor premiers were in trouble on a wet Yamba Oval at 4-40 when Ardrey and Kirk put their heads down and picked up their runs in ones and twos.
Yamba scraped together 163 from 43 overs and then finished the job when they bowled Harwood out for 81.
“It wasn't a day for boundary hitting,” Ardrey said yesterday.
“I think we only hit six or seven in our whole innings.”
As the score mounted the skipper became more and more confident of victory.
“We had a bit of rain before the game and some had leaked under the covers,” he said.
“It made batting very difficult with the ball popping off a length every time it hit a green spot.
“When we got around the 150 mark I thought we had enough to win the game.”
Although the Harwood innings never threatened the Yamba total, there was plenty of drama in the chase as Yamba raced to either take wickets or bowl the allotted overs before bad light stopped play.
“They took three hours, 10 minutes to bowl their 41 overs, which only left us two-and-a-quarter hours to bowl our overs at them,” Ardrey said.
“They were just blocking the ball, so it made it easier for us to get through our overs.”
The Harwood batsmen soaked up 35 overs and were on track to force a draw when Sam Lindsay struck two vital blows in the field, running out Mitchell Johnson and Joel Peterie with direct hits - one of them from the boundary.
“If they could have hung on for the draw we would have had to come back next week to play the game again,” Ardrey said.
“Those two run outs took the pressure off us. If we hadn't got them we might have run out of daylight.”
Harwood's bowlers kept the pressure on with veteran paceman Dave Cowen taking 3-26 from nine overs. Off-spinner Alex Davidson swept through the middle order taking 5-19 from six overs.
None of the Yamba bowlers took more than two wickets, but all used the variable bounce in the wicket to keep the pressure on the batsmen.
“Jason Walker needs a mention. He took 2/17 from nine overs,” Ardrey said.