ST MARYS have won the prestigious Yates Shield for the minor premiership in A-Grade cricket for only the second time in the past 30 years.
In the closest finish in the 93-year history of the Yates Shield, St Marys finished the home-and-away season on 98 points, just one point ahead of YOBS.
Last Saturday’s washout of the last round of both qualifying games in the competition has left both Busselton teams on top of the table. Saints and YOBS will therefore meet each other in this Saturday’s second semi-final at Barnard Park for the right to go straight through to the grand final the following week.
This Saturday’s semi-final will see Margaret River Hawks (who finished third on 82 points) battle with Dunsborough (fourth place on 44 points) in a sudden-death fight for the right to play in Sunday’s preliminary final.
This weekend will also mark the first time a second semi-final has been played at the Barnard Park cricket headquarters, with both Danny Hatton (St Marys captain) and Ben Payne (YOBS captain) keen to be the first to qualify for the grand final, and not to have to worry about the preliminary final on Sunday. Saints are trying to break the longest drought in local A-Grade cricket history.
Saints have won 19 premierships in the 108-year history of the Busselton-Margaret River competition – easily more than any other club – but their last A-Grade flag was 35 years ago, back in 1983-84, under Brian Earl’s captaincy.
If they can pull it off, it would be a dream result for Ben Mattock in his first year as St Marys president.
B Grade - Despite the heavy rain last Saturday morning, one B-Grade game was played in the afternoon at the Vasse Playing Fields. St Marys, who were sitting in fifth place and potentially missing the finals, had the blowers out on the ground and dried the synthetic wicket sufficiently to allow a 20-overs-a-side game to take place against Vasse.
Put into bat, Vasse totalled 5-92 from their 20 overs. St Marys then chased the runs down with eight balls to spare, with Mark Yarwood (33) and Anthony Balkin (25) setting the pace with a 53-run opening stand. The result means St Marys have displaced Hawks from fourth place.
This Saturday’s B-Grade second semi-final will be played between YOBS and Vasse at Barnard Park synthetic for a grand final spot, while the sudden death first semi-final will be between Dunsborough and St Marys, on the turf wicket at Dunsborough. The loser of YOBS v Vasse will play the winner of Dunsborough v St Marys in Sunday’s preliminary final.
Masters - In Masters cricket on Sunday, Cowaramup claimed the inaugural title of BMRCA Masters premiers when they defeated Dunsborough Ducks in a hard-fought grand final at Barnard Park. Cowaramup claimed the title after bowling Dunsborough Ducks out just short of their target of 161.
Cowaramup started well making 105 off their first 15 overs before Dunsborough held them to 5 an over off the last 10 overs. Dunsborough started well but consistently picked out men in the deep, losing wickets steadily. Cowaramup bowled a very consistent length late in the game and put the Ducks under pressure to score quickly. The wickets tumbled to see Dunsborough all out.
This inaugural season finishes on a high note with many new players joining during the season and much anticipation towards 2019-20 season.
C Grade - Cowaramup claimed the annual Hally Cup when they defeated Vasse in a hard-fought C-Grade cricket game at the Cowaramup Oval on Sunday.
The tradition between the clubs, in memory of the late Brad Hallyburton who played for both Vasse and Cowaramup, was enhanced by great fellowship and a great game. Vasse batted first and totalled 6-115 from their 20 overs.
Cowaramup then chased down the runs with five balls to spare, Dillen Watson hitting an unbeaten 56 after Reid Coates had opened the innings and scored 28. In this Saturday’s C-Grade second semi-final, minor premiers Dunsborough will host YOBS at Dunsborough, while third-placed Augusta will be at home to Nannup.