SCG Country Cup Final Wrap 18/1/15
In a season which has seen our much-loved game changed with the loss of Phil Hughes this was a special cup final. The day started with a minute’s silence following the loss of John Agnew, a former committee member who gave a lot to our club over the years and the father of past player, Jack Agnew, now playing for Hamilton-Wickham.
Merewether and Hamwicks have had a long, respectful rivalry where down-to-the-wire matches and finals have been played. This day would prove to be the same.
With Moorey winning the toss, our boys were able to start this final with willow in hand and set the tempo for the day.
Playing on a pitch the Australians played on only 2 days earlier, the deck looked to play a bit slower than first expected making runs very valuable and hard to come by.
With an early wicket, Simon Moore (36) and Pat Darwen (74) came together for a 79-run partnership to steady the ship but 2 quick wickets saw Dave Celep (66) join Pat in at the crease for another 74 run partnership. Three wickets then fell within 40 runs and saw the boys 6 for 195 with 6 overs still remaining. Mark Cameron (30) came in to join Sam Gilmour (28*) for some explosive batting in the final few balls. Mark lost his wicket with only 3 balls remaining but the guys were able to cross for Sam to be on strike. The last 3 balls was a dot ball, followed by a 4 and then 6 off the final delivery. This saw our lads end on a total 7 for 245.
A steady start from Hamwicks saw everyone on the edge of their seats. Hamwicks lost their 3rd wicket for 59 runs with wickets being shared around 1 each to Mark Cameron, Tim O'Neill and Josh Emerton.
Another 2 wickets fell as our spinners took control and the scorecard was looking great for us - Hamwicks 5 for 124 in the 32nd over. At this stage still needing 121 off 18 overs at 6.7 runs an over.
But our boys knew they still had a fight on their hands and Hamwicks wouldn’t give up the fight. Some big hitting saw the run-rate required start to drop before Courtney Moulton got the wicket of one of Hamwicks danger men. The next few batters continued to rotate the strike and even though our boys were fielding well, saving many important runs, the game was starting to drift the way of our opposition.
Enter Mark Cameron, and with only 2 overs left in his spell it came time for the fans to start biting their nails, When he ripped through 3 of the tailenders the score became 9 for 220 with 5 overs to bowl, the members stand was starting to get excited. But again Hamwicks were not giving us anything . It was getting extremely close and the runs kept ticking away, coming down to the last over of the day where the equation came down to 11 runs need from 6 ball. Josh Geary was the bowler left with the task of the last over and bowling a good ball it was driven to mid on where Mark Cameron stood. A mix up in the middle of the pitch and a direct hit from Scud at the wicketkeeper’s end saw everyone holding their breath as the umpire lifted his finger to end one of the great grand final wins for our club.