Relief, joy as United team effort ends final ‘hoodoo’
IPSWICH Player of the Season Clare Gillett is highly regarded for how she leads and controls tight situations.
However, even the accomplished T.C. United and Ipswich representative captain sensed the growing nerves as Sports set up an enthralling finish in the Ipswich first division vigoro grand final.
"You feel the pressure as a team,'' Gillett said. "You could feel it on the sidelines too.
"Everyone sort of tense up and it's in those moments you need to try to keep a calm head as a team and keep everyone focused on what we need to get done.''
So when Karissa Aburn stepped up to snare a double hat-trick (four wickets in a row) and the final wicket, the T.C. United players felt relieved and proud.
In winning their third first division grand final by just four runs, T.C ended a mini hoodoo following their previous triumph in the 2015/16 season.
T.C United had reached some past season finals only to be bundled out before the main game.
However, being minor premiers this year secured T.C a direct passage to the grand final, breaking the string of semi-final defeats.
While Aburn delivered the decisive final blow, Jodie Spall was named Player of the Final after top scoring with 32 and snaring 6/17 against Sports.
"Jodie was brilliant,'' Gillett said, praising her teammate for another consistent season.
"She really stepped up again in the final. She laid a great foundation.''
Gillett, who also topped the fielders catches this season with 25, commended Sports for a spirited grand final effort.
"It was extremely tight,'' she said.
"The momentum ebbed and flowed throughout the whole game between us and Sports and you never knew who was on top literally until the end of the game.
"They had momentum and we were able to swing it back at the end there when we really needed it.''
T.C batted first scoring 84 before gaining the upper hand by dismissing Sports for 66.
Sports fought back restricting T.C to 34 in the second innings to open up the game.
Sport were bowled out for 48 with no time limits in the grand final.
Lee Scudds top scored for Sports with 18.
The team's bowling strength was reflected in Megan Packer, Cassidy Hammond and Kasey Stephens sharing the wickets.
But T.C had enough runs to hold on, to the relief of Gillett and her teammates.
"Not having the pressure of the semi this year for us was good,'' she said. "It had been a bit of a hoodoo for us in the last month of the season.
"The last couple of seasons, we have bowed out in the semi-finals just beforehand and they (the T.C players) really deserved to be in the grand final.
"They really worked hard to get there this season and it really felt like we were building and had that roll-on in the last month or so.
"They did show a lot of ticker and got us there at the end of the day.''
Gillett said having to play out the final - rather than regular time limits - made the victory even sweeter.
"It was a great game but it took a lot of heart to get the win at the end of it,'' she said.
After the grand final, trophy presentations were made at the East Ipswich grounds.
T.C United finished the season having taken the most team wickets (232) and leading number of catches (69).
Sports amassed the most season runs (1304).
Sports finished the 2020/21 season with two from three premierships after the Second Division side beat Occasionals in Saturday's grand final.
Sports junior side won their grand final a week earlier.
The annual award winners were also acknowledged after the senior grand finals.
The Ipswich Vigoro Association winners are below.
STATE OF PLAY
Ipswich Vigoro grand final results March 27
1st Division: T.C.United 84 & 34 defeated Sports 66 & 48 by four runs.
T.C. United batting: Jodie Spall 32, Kate Johnstone 19, Megan Daly 13. Bowling: Jodie Spall 6/17, Karissa Aburn 4/2, Clare Gillett 4/12.
Sports batting: Lee Scudds 18, Jodie Beer 9, Tracey Scudds 9 & 9. Bowling: Megan Packer 3/14 & 3/21, Cassidy Hammond 3/18 & 3/27, Kassy Stephens 2/11.
Player of the final: Jodie Spall.
2nd Division: Sports 61 & 8 v 37 defeated Occasionals 47 & 49 by three wickets & two runs.
Sports batting: Cassidy Hammond 18, Emma Buchanan 12. Bowling: Cassidy Hammond 7/20 & 6/17, Bailey Whyatt 3/12.
Occasionals batting: RohanDarr 17, Zoe Hislop 9, Reannon Mullins 9 not out. Bowling: Julia Chudleigh 5/11 & 2/8, Tayla Barnes 2/13, Rohan Darr 1/3.
Player of the final: Cassidy Hammond.
Player of the Season: Clare Gillett.
Runner-Up Player of the Season: Kerryn Graham.
Batting Aggregate: Deanne Lawrie 228 runs. Batting Average: Megan Daly 13.33.
Highest Score: Megan Daly 78. Most Boundaries: Megan Daly 24.
Wicketkeeper dismissals: Simone Harding 8.
Bowling Aggregate: Shannon Brackin 53 wkts. Bowling Average: Ashlee Verrall 5.40.
Best Bowling in an Innings: Kerryn Graham 7/10. Bowler's Run Outs: Ailsa Martin 28.
Fielder's Run Outs: Ailsa Martin 18. Fielder's Catches: Clare Gillett 25.
Most Team Runs: Sports 1304. Most Team Wickets: T.C. United 232.
Most Team Catches: T.C.United 69.
Player Of the Season: Cassidy Hammond.
Runner-Up Player of the Season: Trey Darr.
Batting Aggregate: Trey Darr 322 runs. Batting Average: Cassidy Hammond 24.42.
Highest Score: Trey Darr 67 not out. Most Boundaries: Trey Darr 32. Bowling Aggregate: Cassidy Hammond 57 wickets.
Bowling Average: Cassidy Hammond 3.49. Best Bowling in an Innings: Deb Manieta 7/8.
Bowlers Run Outs: Cassidy Hammond & Ruby Bartley 16. Fielders Run Outs: Cassidy Hammond, Fletcher Baartz, Emma Buchanan 12.
Fielders Catches: Emma Buchanan 13. Wicketkeepers Dismissals: Renee Peters 5.
Junior playing in 2nd Division Encouragement Award: Reggie Marsh.
Most Team Runs: Occasionals 1375. Most Team Wickets: Sports 232.
Most Team Catches: T.C.United 60.