South Canterbury Cricket CEO Mark Medlicott presents the victorious Roncalli skipper Nick O'Brien with the Second Grade T20 Shield

South Canterbury Cricket CEO Mark Medlicott presents the victorious Roncalli skipper Nick O’Brien with the Second Grade T20 Shield

RoncalliThe final of the Second Grade Twenty20 competition was played at Aorangi Oval on another beautiful summer’s day between defending champions Celtic and school team Roncalli.

With the Crusaders in town the two teams got their match under way slightly ahead of the scheduled 1.00pm start, a sign that the match would be played in a good spirit.

Celtic won the toss and decided to bat first, hoping to set a good target and put pressure on their younger adversaries.

Opener Mike de Joux fresh from a 44 ball century the previous weekend opened the batting with Shane Richardson, but the Roncalli bowlers quickly settled into good lines and made important breakthroughs removing Richardson and last season’s final top-scorer Andy Craig with the total only at 13.

Soon after the Roncalli boys were jumping with joy as Nigel Caple was bowled playing all around a straight full toss only to have their hopes dashed as they spotted the umpire’s no ball signal. Capil then settled down and alongside de Joux got Celtic heading in the right direction again as the pair added 43 runs in partnership before a really good catch by Conor Scott at long on removed de Joux for 38.

The 4th wicket partnership of 33 would be the last good one for Celtic as only captain Jimmie McLaren with 22 no and Hamish Kelynack 13 made it into double figures and Celtic were eventually restricted to 136-8 from their 20 overs.

For Roncalli all the bowlers contributed with opening bowler Nick O’Brien returning the great figures of 2-16 from his four overs while Liam Beck with 2-17 off four overs almost matched him. Sean McLeary took two wickets as well while Adam Beck and Jessie Thurlow picked up one each and they were supported by good fielding with five catches taken (Conor Carlaw snaffled two) and a stumping as well.

A required run rate of 6.85 runs per over did not appear too daunting for Roncalli, but finals are different to normal Saturday matches, and they would be hoping their better batsmen would continue their recent run of form (Adam Beck was averaging 202 for this season’s T20 competition leading into the final, and fellow opener Tristan Cooper had also recently scored a fifty).

Well the boys didn’t become over-awed by the occasion as they settled in for a steady start, as they built an opening partnership of  70 before Cooper was out for 34 which included some entertaining shots. Adam Beck continued on in partnership with his brother Liam (11) before the second wicket fell at 83 and Adam followed to be out for 45 and there was still a lot of work to be done as the required run rate approached 10 runs per over.

While the spectators began to worry about all the singles that the early batsmen had left on the park and worry that Roncalli had no big hitters left,  Conor Scott arrived at the crease and just when a big over was needed he delivered hitting two sixes in an over that cost Celtic 17 runs as he helped put Roncalli back on track with a rapid fire 34 leaving Roncalli with wickets in hand and a much more manageable run a ball for the final two overs to win.

Even when Scott was out Michael Lees with 7 not out saw his team home as Roncalli won with four balls to spare, and the vociferous crowd of Roncalli supporters breathed a sigh of relief.

The Celtic bowlers all kept it tight with the most successful being Anthony Wa;ker with 2-28, but the early loss of top order wickets probably cost Celtic the chance of a higher total in the end, and coupled with a fielding performance in the final six overs they would wish to forget, conceded that on the day the best side won the final.

Well done to Roncalli who will be pleased to have some silverware in the cupboard after a couple of tough seasons. Their task now will be to take this form into the remaining one day 40 over matches.

Roncalli 2nd Grade Twenty20 Champs 2013

Roncalli 2nd Grade Twenty20 Champs 2013

Match Scoreboard

 

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