THE Come Alive Fitness Crusaders from Cootamundra are premiers in the South West Slopes Cricket League for 2017-18 following a hard-fought win over Young Services Blues in the final played at Nixon Park Temora on Saturday.
Winning the toss and batting, the Blues were bundled out for just 73 in 36 overs, Crusaders had to work for their win, but saw victory in the 33rd over finishing with 3/74.
Despite the low scores, the match provided good tough finals cricket, runs were like gold with only 147 runs scored from 73 overs at 2.01 runs over. Bowlers in the match sent down 19 maidens and over the duration, bowlers only bowled seven wides. Only two fours were struck in the match.
The man of the match was Crusaders’ quick Dean Bradley who finished with impressive bowling figures of 4/12 from 10 overs while fellow quick David Garness grabbed 3/21 from 10 overs. Including the two finals, Bradley and Garness captured 61 wickets.
Only players for the Blues reached double figures, Josh Platt who injured leg and returned later with a runner made 16, Luke Cosgrove top scored with 18, while the Blues captain Cameron Jones made 13 with Sam Davis remaining 13 not out.
While Bradley and Garness took seven of the ten wickets, Darren Connell showed his class capturing 2/16 from 10 overs.
Set 74 runs for victory, it was bit of a grind as the Blues bowlers bowled tightly.
Crusaders lost opener Scott Meale for nine.
Josh Purtell was prepared to drop, anchor; scoring 20 from 63 balls while Darren Connell, a man of vast finals experience remained 27 not out from 61 balls
Blues opening bowler Nick Hall bowled tightly from his two spells; he captured 2/22 from his 10 overs.
The Crusaders after losing the 2015-16 final to Mimosa and a heart breaking one run loss to Coyotes in last season’s semi-final, they were determined to get their name on the Delta Agribusiness Cup.
- The Come Alive Fitness Crusaders premiership team was Mark Elia (captain) Scott Meale, Darren Connell, Josh Purtell, Matt Berkrey, Phil Gay, Tom Grace, Ryan Connell, Ray James, Luke Izzard, Dean Bradley and David Garness.