Grampians one run loss to Red Cliffs in Country Week cricket grand final

Buangor all-rounder Harry Ganley proved to be more of a hit with the bat than ball during the Grampians Cricket Association’s one run loss to Red Cliffs Cricket Association in the Division Three Bendigo Country Week grand final.BUANGOR all-rounder Harry Ganley scored an impressive century for Grampians Cricket Association in the Division Three Bendigo Country Week grand final.
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However the 102 run stand wasn’t enough to see off rival Red Cliffs Cricket Association. The GCA lost the tournament decider on Friday by just one run after a thrilling turn of events.

St Andrews’ (Grampians) Jacob Bates and Youth Club’s Koby Stewart added to Ganley’s total but were outed after knocks of 19 and 17 respectively.

Tatyoon’s Jarrod Blandford also enjoyed a lengthy stay at the crease with 54 runs to his name. He and Youth Club’s Jamie Solyom (24) remained not out as the Grampians finished 6/238 after 50 overs.

The GCA’s bowling attack looked in good shape early, lead by Youth Club’s Stephen Le Gassick who collected the wickets of three of the first four Red Cliffs batsmen.

Ably assisted by Tatyoon’s Michael Harricks and Aradale’s Tyler Cronin in the field, the trio ripped through the four top order batsmen for a total of just 37 runs.

There was a momentum shift when Merbein South cricket player Shannon Bowen took to the crease for Red Cliffs.

Bowen looked on track to replicate the success of Grampians’ Ganley with his team’s top knock of 91 runs, before he was run out by Grampians’ Ethan Marrow.

His stay had lifted the spirits of the Grampians’ opponents and the steady totals that followed gave the team the confidence it needed to pull off the unanticipated win.

Red Cliffs reached the target (9/239) off the second last ball of the 50th over.

Grampians dominated its four Country Week matches leading up to the grand final, heading into the decider with the perfect strike rate.

The side got off on a winning note against the Wimmera-Mallee in game one, taking victory by 22 runs.

Ganley was the star with the bat, opening Grampians’ innings with a knock of 49 before departing.

Travis Nicholson chipped in with 28 runs, while eight of the 11 batsmen reached double figures on the way to a total of 170.

The GCA was consistent in the field, taking wickets at regular intervals to dismiss the Wimmera-Mallee for 148. Youth Club spinner Jamie Solyom was the leading wicket taker with 3/13.

In round two Grampians again had the wood over its opponent, Upper Loddon Cricket Association, winning by a massive innings and 154 runs.

GCA captain Jarrod Blandford won the toss and sent the opposition into bat, which proved a successful move – Upper Loddon all out for 69.

Steven LeGassick dominated with the ball, taking five wickets for just 12 runs in a spell which included five maidens.

Ganley (43) and opening partner Jacob Bates (44) formed a stance of 64 to almost single handedly surpass the opposition’s total.

Nicholson (32), Koby Stewart (58) and Ethan Marrow (67) were also in flying form as the GCA finished 5/272 after the maximum 50 overs.

Upper Loddon went back in to bat for 12 overs, but never looked threatening.

In a grand final prelude, GCA faced Red Cliffs in round three, with Grampians batting first to make 191. Blandford (44) and Chris Jerram (33) led the charge.

The wickets were shared around as Red Cliffs were skittled for 141.

Blandford again enjoyed a captain’s knock, top scoring on 41 in his team’s 21 run win over Northern United Cricket Association in round four.

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