FOR the fourth year in a row, Rochester United has secured the minor premiership in Goulburn Murray Cricket A grade.
With just the one loss for the season, they were once again the best team in cricket, by quite a distance.
But the bigger role in the weekend was played by the Rochester Tigers and their loss to Tongala.
The result caused one of the boilovers of the season, with Moama stunningly knocked out of the finals as a result.
The Tigers were set a total of 288 for a final victory of the season, following a strong 88 from Darin Ohlsen and half centuries from Adam Nunn and Joel Regan the weekend prior.
Brandon Byrne took to the opening spot with captain Jake Wright, though his captain did not remain in the game for long, falling to the bowling of Matt Ohlsen for four.
Ohlsen wasn’t done there though, taking Marcus Mckern for a golden globe.
Byrne could only manage a score of seven, with the Tigers in early trouble at 3/16.
The partnership of Richard Forrest and Travis Gillin took the responsibility to change the teams fortunes, digging in to post a 50 run partnership and beginning to stabilise the innings.
The partnership came unstuck on 66, when Forrest knicked one off Adam Nunn for 25.
After all their good work, two runs later Gillin was out too for 30, the Tigers now 5/68.
Fraser Cleary could not add to the scoreboard, dismissed for a duck a number of balls later.
Jake Toll became the last line of resistance for the Tigers, remaining at the crease until the final wicket, while his teammates fell around him.
Harrison McPhee added a handy 10, but was unable to go on to a bigger score, his dismissal seeing the Tigers in serious trouble at 7/86.
Leslie Collins (7) and Ray George (1) could not add much to the score and when Toll went for 20, the game and season were over for the Tigers.
Club president George said the the Tigers would learn from some errors throughout the season.
‘‘I think we made a mistake not having a coach,’’ George said.
‘‘That isn’t me taking something away from our group, I think they led incredibly well throughout the year. But it think not having that added voice had a negative impact, so we as a club will look to appoint someone soon to take on the role.’’
He also rued the missed opportunities from the season.
‘‘We had Fire Brigade on toast early in the year, but let them slip. We probably lost a few games we should have won so when we ran into injuries and players not being available, we didn’t have the wins on the board.
‘‘It’s disappointing, but we know the areas we have to improve in. We are looking at what we need to add for the year and will start putting those plans into place soon.
‘‘The key thing for me this year though was we got a lot of our kids into senior cricket. You need to blood that youth for the long term, so I’m excited with what we could add this season.’’
George was also happy to have a laugh at his own expense following his unexpected return to A grade.
‘‘I mean, I was only helping out, but I think they missed out by not having me open,’’ he laughed.
‘‘And I got out in a silly way. I put one towards slip, that’s easy runs in C grade, but no, I get caught. Unbelievable.’’
■ IT WAS a walk in the park for United against Echuca South.
Resuming play at 1/55, Jordan Garrett could add just three to his score, dismissed for 36.
Sean Williams would contribute four to the score, with the team at 3/87 when Jesse Cuttriss joined his captain Tim Bubb at the crease.
The two would both score freely, adding a 115 run partnership to the total, before Cuttriss departed for a strong 51, United now 4/202.
New man Brodan Evans was not able to replicate that form, falling the very next ball for a golden duck.
202 struck again, this time it was Bubb wo went, run out for a strong 90.
Matt Coghill (3) and Mark McFarlane (6) would add small amounts to the innings, but the match was essentially over.
Angus Martin watched the innings ending around him, remaining not out without troubling the scorers.
With the score on 8/211, the innings and match was called, United taking a first innings win.