THERE was certainly nothing easy about winning the Grassmere Cricket Association A grade premiership, according to Killarney captain Brayden Buchanan.
A draining heat across both days. A doggedly determined Hawkesdale that was bent on making the most on its surprise ascension to flag contention.
But the Crabs prevailed on Sunday, closing out a five-wicket win with a few overs to spare at Purnim.
“Words don’t describe it – there’s a lot of hard work that goes into one game of cricket,” Buchanan said after the match.
“It was definitely a hard day – I think that’s the hardest I’ve worked for a wicket in my life.
“It was hot – credit to Hawkesdale again, they bowled probably in worse conditions today than what we did (on Saturday), and bowled well.
“It was definitely hotter and harder than what people would think, sitting on the sidelines in the shade.”
Man of the match Liam Cole epitomised the effort the Crabs had to put in to get over the line against Hawkesdale – a team which surged into the top four with an outright win in the final round and then toppled minor premier Panmure in the semi-finals.
I think that’s the hardest I’ve worked for a wicket in my life.
Cole slogged out 24 overs with the ball, claiming 2-68, and backed up the next day with a match-high 88 runs.
He and Brendan Chatfield (29) put on 84 runs for the third wicket, guiding the team to 3-119 and sending it well on the path to victory as it strived to chase down the Cats’ 177 runs.
“It just shows the character of the man (Cole), really, to be able to do it in hard conditions,” Buchanan said.
Hawkesdale captain Jason Elliot lauded his team’s “tremendous effort” to get to the final, but said they fell short of what they hoped for when they batted on Saturday.
“We probably left 20 or 30 runs out there with the bat, but I thought we fought pretty hard with the ball,” he said.
“We fielded pretty well, just on the back of one innings with Liam Cole was the main reason we lost.
“The only thing we were disappointed with was we had five or six guys got a start and had no-one go on and make 50-plus, and that was the difference for them.”
Meanwhile, Killarney’s C grade side claimed back-to-back premierships, downing Wangoom in a game that went down to the wire at Purnim on Sunday.
The Crabs bowled Wangoom out for 88, but had to overcome a stern bowling effort from the latter to hold on for a two-wicket win.
Captain Nathan Gould said there were some nervous moments as a determined Wangoom refused to back down, taking regular wickets throughout the chase.
“I thought I was going to have a heart attack there for a little while – the nerves were shot,” he said. “I’m just so proud of the boys for their great effort today and their will to win, their will to play as a team – we just love playing the game. We’re a gutsy unit together and we all play for the right reasons.”
Crabs bowler Daniel Maine was named man of the match for his 4-17.