Cricket miracle: How Centrals never gave up to make final
MIRACLES happen. You should never give up.
Just ask the Centrals first division cricketers who manufactured an amazing outright victory to secure a last-gasp spot in this season's Ipswich competition grand final.
Two rounds ago, the Kookaburras looked all but out of the hunt to meet Laidley in the 2020/21 four-day decider starting at Walker Oval next Saturday.
However, a spirited win over Brothers and their latest six-wicket outright success over Marburg-Mt Crosby Thunder propelled Centrals into second spot, ahead of Northsiders.
A brave decision by Centrals captain Wayne Jones to declare six wickets down against Thunder proved decisive. That came as Brothers were upstaging Northsiders to set up the incredible last round finish.
Brothers went on to beat Northsiders to allow Centrals to somehow jump over the Tigers.
"The Kookaburras did have to rely on Northsiders stumbling to losses in their last two games but those two slip-ups enabled us to sneak past them in the end,'' Jones said.
"It's proof you should never give up.''
Jones said his team stuck to the task knowing they had a remote chance two rounds ago. That was despite the Tigers being on a winning run and after Centrals were lucky to get up over Brothers in the previous match.
"We've just got that little bit of experience that gets us over the line. Those big match players,'' Jones said.
He said it was always going to be difficult for Centrals to qualify after being beaten outright by Laidley earlier in the two-day competition.
Northsiders were suddenly two wins ahead before the Kookaburras rallied.
"After the Laidley game, it was very hard but we still had a mathematical chance to make it,'' Jones said, proud of how his players stayed true to their final goal.
"And it just fell our way.''
In the latest game, Centrals spearhead Rhys O'Sullivan led the way with nine wickets for the match at Limestone Park.
That included 5/26 on Saturday as Thunder were dismissed for just 79.
The Centrals team celebrated what the competition's most capped player said was "a special occasion.''
"We don't win too many outrights at the club,'' said Jones who recently set the record for most first division games played (now 247).
Laidley run machine Mick Sippel thumped 164 in his team's final round victory over the Redbacks.
The Blue Dogs declared at 9/398 in the match at Bichel Oval.
That has set up another intriguing battle between Laidley and Centrals in the four-day final scheduled to start at 10am next Saturday.
Centrals have played in five of the past six grand finals.
Laidley have an enviable record of 14 grand final appearances in the past 17 seasons. The Blue Dogs won their first grand final in the 1999/20 season.
Stalwarts to the rescue
In Brothers' timely 26 run first division win over Northsiders, stalwarts Craig Cumming and Craig Mackay did the damage with their line and length bowling.
Mackay finished with 4/47 and Cumming snared 3/42.
A crucial runout of Dom Salton and two wickets just before tea turned the match in Brothers' favour.
Jones praised Brothers for playing out the season given they had struggled at times with player numbers and unable to win.
Tigers up in lower grade thriller
In 2nd Grade, Northsiders also snuck into the final on the final day of qualifying matches.
Chasing Brothers 201, Northsiders were 8/159 before an unbeaten 73 run partnership between paceman Thomas Weier (23 not out) and wicketkeeper Greig Cumming (51 not out) guided them home.
Northsiders had to rely on second last Centrals to defeat second placed Thunder which they did late on Saturday afternoon.
Northsiders also had their pitch vandalised at Sternberg Oval overnight with water poured on both ends.
"So it was a bittersweet day for them with their first grade falling at the last hurdle but a Herculean effort by their 2nd graders to get in with pitch repair all morning, a big ninth wicket partnership and Centrals upsetting Thunder,'' Jones said.
Laidley will also play in the 2nd Grade final against Northsiders starting next weekend.
Laidley District complete the final trifecta facing competition leaders Bundamba Strollers White at Marsden No.3.
STATE OF PLAY
Central Districts v Marburg Mt Crosby Thunder at Limestone Park
Thunder 1st Innings 97
Centrals 1st Innings 6 (dec) 115
Thunder 2nd Innings
Ryan Harrison b O'Sullivan 0 (9)
Tom Hall b O'Sullivan 5 (36)
Ray Coleman c Cupit b Ashton 4 (26)
Braydon Armstrong c Abbott b Dell 10 (50)
Jacob Anderson c Tyler b O'Sullivan 0 (4)
Todd Anderson c Dell b Jones 13 (38)
Aaron Nugter st Tyler b O'Sullivan 14 (40)
Nick Raine c Jones b Ashton 18 (33)
Mitch Raine b Ashton 0 (4)
Ben Donnelly c B. Osborne b O'Sullivan 5 (9)
Blayde Klass not out 0 (0)
Extras (9w 1nb) 10
Total (41.2ov) 79
FoW: 0, 7, 19, 19, 29, 38, 74, 74, 79, 79.
Bowling: Rhys O'Sullivan 13/3/26/5; Brendan Ashton 9.2/5/11/3; Wayne Jones 4/2/7/1; Michael Abbott 8/2/17/0; Alex Dell 7/3/18/1.
Centrals 2nd Innings
Cameron Osborne not out 22 (45)
Braydon Osborne c M. Raine b Klass 0 (8)
Wayne Jones c Armstrong b Klass 6 (8)
Tim Weber c M. Raine b Coleman 0 (4)
Harry Dobson c T. Anderson b Klass 20 (17)
Tom Cupit not out 12 (15)
Extras (1w 1lb) 2
Total (16.1ov) 4/62
FoW: 3, 15, 15, 43
Bowling: Blayde Klass 8/1/28/3; Ray Coleman 7/0/26/1; Braydon Armstrong 1/0/5/0; Jacob Anderson 0.1/0/2/0.
Centrals win outright by 6 wickets.
Brothers v Northsiders at Marsden No.2
Brothers 1st innings 222
Northsiders 1st Innings (resuming 2/31)
Jordan Alegre b Conway 43
Dom Salton run out (Trevorrow/Sarra) 33
Nick Verrenkamp c&b C. Cumming 17
Shane Krings c Walker b Mackay 34
Trent Kammholz c Sarra b C. Cumming 4
Steve Humphreys st Sarra b Mackay 19
Kevin Cumming not out 12
Dominic Greensill st Sarra b Mackay 5
Extras (6b 4lb 5w) 15
Total (71.1ov) 196
FoW: 10, 21, 92, 109, 152, 152, 159, 179, 179, 196.
Bowling: Craig Cumming 25/9/42/3; Lachlan Bilyj 3/0/17/0; Reagan Griffith 10/0/39/0; Paddy Towne 3/1/4/1; Mick Conway 4/0/23/1; Mark Sharrad 6/2/14/0; Craig Mackay 21.1/7/47/4.
Brothers 2nd Innings
Craig Mackay b Krings 13
Lachlan Bilyj c Verrenkamp b Salton 13
Hayden Walker c Salton b K. Cumming 22
Jacob Sarra c Humphreys b Brits 1
Lachlan Griffith c ? b Brits 5
Reagan Griffith not out 7
Darren Meier not out 7
Extras (5b 1w 2nb) 8
Total (21ov) 4/72
FoW: 27, 37, 43, 57, 58
Bowling: Dom Salton 3/2/10/1; Steve Humphreys 2/0/17/0; Shane Krings 4/0/10/1; Kevin Cumming 8/1/19/1; Markus Brits 4/0/11/2.
Brothers win by 26 runs
Laidley District v South East Redbacks at Bichel Oval
Redbacks 1st Innings 105
Laidley 1st Innings (resuming at 3/177)
Michael Sippel b Perera 164
Matthew Grassick c Acutt b Ross 74
Alex Welsh c Acutt b Bates 11
Josh Reisenleiter c&b Bates 10
Shanley Neuendorf not out 51
Liam Dean c Shalanka b Perera 5
Craig Crack c Shalanka b Chandler 1
Extras (11b 6lb 1w 9nb) 27
Total (76ov) 9 (dec) 398
FoW: 37, 45, 61, 225, 280, 326, 351, 357, 398
Bowling: Anju Perera 24/5/95/3; Daniel Hamilton 5/0/31/1; Brock Dignan 8/0/40/1; Callum Chandler 12/1/40/1; Shane Ross 5/0/35/1; Kris Hoffman 6/0/48/0; Lachlan Kammholz 5/0/29/0; Lochana Shalanka 6/0/39/0; Josh Bates 5/0/24/2.
Redbacks 2nd Innings
Lochana Shalanka c Reisenleiter b Crack 42
Callum Chandler not out 15
Anju Perera b Welsh 6
Josh Bates c Dean b Neuendorf 13
Ethan Acutt lbw Neuendorf 0
Shane Ross not out 19
Extras (4b 5lb) 9
Total (36ov) 4/104
FoW: 50, 61, 75, 80
Bowling: Craig Crack 9/0/30/1; Alex Welsh 16/9/41/1; Shanley Neuendorf 5/1/10/2; Josh Reisenleiter 4/1/11/0; Chris Wilson 1/0/3/0; Travis Ilka 1/1/0/0.
Laidley win by 7 wickets when passed.
Centrals 280 defeated Thunder 163 - Robin Liney 40, Jai Rose 41, Joel Mitchell 16; Daniel Warner 15/4/36/3, Bill Johnson 1/12(8), Irfan Sagri 1/13(5), Dan Smith 23/9/41/4, Mitch Gardner 1/13(5).
Northsiders 8 (dec) 232 - Chris Butt 10, Nick Drain 34, Brent Croker 40, Ashley McPaul 19, Cam Beutel 11, Jacob Maroske 21, Thomas Weier 23*, Greig Cumming 51*; Brent Gill 26/5/75/3, Chris McGloin 1/20(4), Jamie Hamilton 1/33(8), Max Bishop 1/19(8), Alfonso Jimenez 2/37 (10) defeated Brothers 9 (dec) 201 & 2/42 - Jamie Hamilton 29; Billy Harsant 1/29 (7), Jacob Maroske 1/8 (5).
Laidley 209 defeated Redbacks 142 - Jordan Adamski 1/28 (7), Jackson McQuilty 10.5/5/17/3, Jared Adamski 10/3/36/3, Jonty Freiberg 1/5 (2), Reuben Liebke 2/6 (2).
Strollers Blue 2/138 - J Park 61*, Anthony Keasey 11, Mattew Wild 38, Josh Sandnes 22*
defeated Redbacks 136 - Steve Hart, Anthony Keasey, Josh Sandnes, Mattew Wild, Anthony Kramer 1 wicket each.
Laidley defeated Thunder.
Strollers White defeated Northsiders.