Rochester United’s season has ended. The side only lost two games in the 2017/18 Goulburn Murray Cricket A grade season — both to Kyabram Fire Brigade and one of those was the grand final.
The weekend’s result ends United’s streak of back-to-back premierships, both of which were gained with victories over the Flames.
On Saturday, the first victory of this season’s grand final went to Kyabram Fire Brigade, which won the toss and chose to bat.
Jack Donnell and Henry Charlton took to the middle, but Liam Ringin immediately put the game in United’s hands when he had Donnell out for just one run.
Sam Kershaw joined Charlton and the pair shared in a 31-run partnership before Ringin again struck for United — Kershaw out for 15 with Stephen Rasmussen taking the catch.
New man Brett Andison could only add 17 before Myles Wade had him trapped in front.
Michael Mattingly, on the back of his 89 in the semi-final, was unable to produce the same form and was sent packing without troubling the scorers.
Enter Paul Newman.
With the gastro that struck him and several others in last week’s semi-final gone, Newman wasn’t slowing down.
Scoring quickly, he made 74 off 76 deliveries, including 13 fours and a six.
Partnering Charlton, the pair added 117, before Newman fell to Sean Williams.
Just a few balls later, Myles Wade had Charlton caught and bowled.
Charlton made 78, smashing 13 fours on the way.
Daniel Kent would be joined by Anthony Andronaco, with Andronaco adding 12 runs to the score before falling to Williams, captain Tim Bubb joining the party with the catch.
Jayden Rosin came to the middle, partnering Kent for 61 vital runs.
Rosin reached 47 before Jake Perry rattled his stumps.
Shannon O’Brien only added one run at number 10, while Daniel Kent fell to Williams for 41 to wrap up the innings for 301, with Brodie Unwin not out for one.
Williams was the hero for United, finishing with 3/68.
Ringin, Wade and Perry claimed two wickets each.
Yesterday, Corey Windridge and Jordan Garrett opened the batting for United, but unfortunately the pair weren’t together for long, Unwin dismissing Windridge with the score on 12.
Jordan Garrett got to 17, before Mattingly had him trapped in front.
Tim Bubb was also unable to stay around, with Charlton castling him to take the score to 3/31 and they never recovered.
Sean Williams was the next to go, Charlton again doing the damage with United in trouble at 4/53.
Rochester stalwarts Dylan Cuttriss and Steve Rasmussen did their best to keep their side in the game.
Unfortunately, neither was able to slow the Kyabram onslaught.
Both were dismissed within 17 runs, United struggling at 6/70.
The new partnership saw 28 added, but ended when Angus Martin was cleaned up by Mattingly.
Unwin claimed another wicket not long after and United was beyond rescue at 8/99.
The ninth wicket partnership looked to keep United going, adding 31 runs but Jack Donnell got the breakthrough to have United 9/130.
The result was beyond doubt, but United wouldn’t give up, adding another 19 runs.
When the final wicket fell to Sam Kershaw, Kyabram had won its third GMC premiership.
United made 149 off 57 overs, handing Kyabram a 152-run win.
While the grand final did not go according to plan, this was an incredible season for United.
The side went the first 11 rounds of the season without suffering a loss, looking the more dominant side on all of those occasions.
A number of players also had fantastic individual seasons.
Sean Williams was a star with both bat and ball, scoring 304 at 33.8, while taking 25 wickets at 13.2.
English import Jordan Garrett was also a major part of the season, scoring 476 runs, including a top score of 120.
It is a devastating end to the season for United, however the club still has the talent to rebuild and make a run at next season’s title.