By Colin MacGillivray
LANCEFIELD Cricket Club’s men’s and women’s senior teams capped dominant seasons with Gisborne and District Cricket Association grand final victories.
Playing in division two, Lancefield’s men only dropped one game all year and marched to a 67-run win against Bacchus Marsh at home on Saturday.
The undefeated women played a finals double-header on the same day at Gisborne, defeating Bacchus Marsh in a semi-final before backing it up to beat Sunbury by 39 runs in the grand final.
Men’s captain Matt Bowden said he was thrilled with his side, which held its nerve after losing opening batsmen Mark Caton and Andrew Richardt cheaply.
“During the week I had a chat with all the boys seeing what they wanted to do if we won the toss – bat or bowl first,” he said.
“We decided to bat first and get the runs on the board, but being 2/7 early on was a bit worrying and we thought we might’ve made the wrong choice.
“The top order struggled a bit and couldn’t get going, and it wasn’t until the back end of the innings where Luke Harrison and Glenn Caton starting ticking over the runs for us, and before we knew it we’d gotten to triple figures.”
Harrison, who would go on to be named man of the match, scored an unbeaten 31 and Caton added 26 to salvage Lancefield’s innings.
“We haven’t had a lot of chances to bat all the way through our order for the year, because our top order has usually performed,” Bowden said.
“It was a bit hard to know what they were going to do, but Glenn hit a couple of boundaries, which upped the score a bit. There were only two or three boundaries in the 60-odd that they put on together and they did really well picking the gaps and running hard.
“Luke was saying that at one point he nearly spewed in his helmet he was running that hard. They were both very sore on Sunday. It was a lot of hard gut running and smart batting.”
With a score of 8/155 after 35 overs, Bowden said he knew his team would be hard to catch.
Bacchus Marsh made a good start to its innings, but a key breakthrough by Sam Taylor before the drinks break changed the momentum.
“We knew if bowled tight it would build pressure and we would get wickets,” Bowden said.
“We bowled two maidens after drinks and then got a couple of wickets, which got the momentum going our way, and we knew from there that if we bowled to our abilities we would be able to restrict them to well under 150.”
Lancefield had the Bulls all out for 89 in 30 overs, putting the final touches on a dominant season.
Bowden praised Harrison’s performance with both bat and ball.
“He’s been sensational all year. He gets a lot of dot balls and builds a lot of pressure, so he might not always get the wickets but he builds a lot of pressure from the other end,” he said.
“It was a good season only losing the one game, and all of the boys did their part to get us to the grand final. We’re hoping to keep all the blokes we had there, and I’m guessing we’re going to go up a grade or two next year. Hopefully we can build on this and have some more success in a higher grade.”
Women on top
Women’s captain Emily Consiglio was equally thrilled with her team after seeing off Sunbury in the grand final.
After being sent in, Lancefield opener Brianna Woodburn scored 29 runs to get the ladder-leaders off to a strong start.
Woodburn was eventually run out for 29, but Sharon White (24 retired), Carolyn Cusack (15) and Consiglio (14 retired) helped the team reach 6/135 from its 20 overs.
Consiglio said a strong bowling performance won the match for her side.
“[We made] a decent score, but it wasn’t our highest score and we knew we were going to have to play a strong game all the way through. Twenty overs isn’t a lot of time, so you’ve got to be switched on,” she said.
“We’re a team of tight bowlers, so it was very tactical as to who bowled when. We wanted to try to dry up those overs in the middle where you would normally look to score your runs and they send in their bigger hitters.”
Wooburn backed up her strong batting with 1/4 in three overs to be named woman of the match.
“Bri Woodburn definitely deserved woman of the match. We’ve played together for years and she’s an absolute asset to have in the team,” Consiglio said.
“The support from the club, the boys, the committee and the families was awesome even though we weren’t at home. I think it turned us up a few notches just because everyone was there.”