Grand Final: Manly-Warringah vs Newcastle, Collaroy Plateau Park, Sunday 17th February, 2019
Manly-Warringah: 121 (Robbie Graham-McDowell 32, Luke Peters 21 no)
Newcastle: 9/103 (Luke Peters 2/5, Matt Dixon 2/7, Harry McCracken 2/19, Myles Nockolds 2/19)
On a beautiful, sunny day at Collaroy, the Manly Under 11’s completed a fantastic UNDEFEATED season by winning the President’s Cup in a very hard fought game vs Newcastle.
Plateau Park looked a picture of a scene with blue skies, freshly mown grass, boundaries marked….the boys were ready to go!
Captain Tyrone won the toss (again) and we decided to bat first and get runs on the board.
We knew this would be a tough game against a quality Newcastle lineup and the instructions to our openers were to absorb the speed and accuracy of the Newcastle opening bowlers (probably the quickest we have faced all year).
It was tough going out there but Rohan Chang and Tyrone played well to turn over the strike. However, we found ourselves in very unfamiliar territory at the 10 over mark, tumbling to 5/21!
On the surface this looked like a perilous position to be in but we were all very confident we could dig ourselves out of a hole with a view to at least reaching 100. Robbie Graham-McDowell game in and changed the whole momentum of the innings by taking on the Newcastle attack with smart, aggressive, well-placed shots. It soon became 6/24 before Matt Dixon entered the cauldron, playing an excellent support role to Robbie with instructions to turn over the strike to him wherever possible. Robbie (32) and Matt (8) had put on a 46 run partnership and our aspirations of edging towards 100 were becoming a reality.
As Robbie had done earlier, our X-Factor Luke Peters (21 no) really took on the attack with some hefty blows over the infield to end up 21 no, partnering well with Julian Osbourne (13).
Somehow, after being 6/24, we managed to scrape our way to 121 off our 40 overs, a very defendable total! Due to the success of our top order over the season our lower order had not really had much of a hit but they really stood up when it counted to make the most of their opportunity.
Newcastle had posted some decent totals in their preliminary games so we knew we had to be more focused than ever to defend our total. The belief in this group of boys is amazing and we were backing ourselves all the way to get the job done. Julian and Lachie were chomping at the bit to get into it and although they didn’t get our normal early break through, were extremely economical.
At the first drinks break we had restricted the Newcastle openers to 0/20. We spoke a lot about continuing the scoreboard pressure and our next pair of Myles Nockolds and Harry McCracken did just that.
It was time for some spin with Harry McCracken almost instantly securing the first wicket via a catch to Luke Peters at square leg. Harry soon broke through again for his 2nd wicket, clean bowling the Newcastle Number 3. Once again we asked Harry to bowl his 8 overs of leggies straight and he finished up with 2/19.
After good performances with the bat, Matt Dixon and Luke Peters continued their good day out with 2 wickets each (2/7 and 2/5 respectively). Luke Kennedy also chimed in with a couple of very tight overs.
Myles Nockolds (2/19), Lachlan Coy (0/11 off 8 overs) and Julian Osbourne (1/24) re-entered the attack for the high pressure last 10 overs. By now the run rate required was edging over 6 per over so we knew we were a huge chance to take home the title…..as long as we kept our heads and stayed calm.
The Newcastle lower order threw the kitchen sink at everything for a last gasp attempt to win the game but ultimately the boys had done it! We had restricted Newcastle to 103 off 40 overs to secure an 18 run victory and bring home the Colin Cooper Cup to Manly.
The coaching team and parents are so proud of these young fellows. To go through an entire rep season undefeated is an amazing performance. No matter what the situation of a game, they showed they can ‘find a way’.
It has been a pleasure to coach these boys and witness their amazing development individually, but more importantly as a team unit, over the season.