SEASON 2021-22 GRAND FINAL
MARCH 13, 2022
OLD SCOTCH CC 2/139 (35)
def. OLD MELBOURNIANS 138 (40)
Hemp 57*, H Goad 4/27
For the seventh time in as many years, the Old Scotch CC First XI took to the Main Oval on the last Sunday of the season looking to cap a fine season with the Hector Donahoo trophy. Standing in the way was a strong Old Melburnians outfit, coming off an emphatic semi-final win against second place Melbourne High and full of quality players. It promised to be another enthralling chapter in a rivalry that had been one for the ages over the last five years.
On a picture perfect day, conditions couldn’t have been better for cricket and all was set for a classic contest. After winning the toss, captain Sam Shearer made the call to back in the bowling unit and ask OMs to bat first. Will Hays made the early breakthrough of Regan for a pumped up home side, before young opener Dowling launched an impressive counter-attack and had the visitors in the ascendency. Dowling put both in-form openers Hays and Will Clark under pressure and had Old Melburnians sitting nicely at 1-50 after 11 overs. OMs’ captain Morris was supporting Dowling at the other end and all of a sudden the decision to bowl first wasn’t looking like a great one.
Harrison Goad and Nick Sparks replaced the opening pair and were able to wrestle back some of the OM’s momentum, slowing Dowling’s scoring and building dots on a slow-scoring Morris. Goad then made the big breakthrough of Dowling for 40, with Mike Sparks holding on to a nervy steepler at mid-on. It was a big moment in the game, with Scotch now back to at least even, but with Morris at the crease and other good players to come, Old Melburnians would have been comfortable with their position to launch.
What followed was a fairly amazing period of cricket from the home side, with S Shearer and Will Bonwick entering the attack and conceding 10 runs from the next eight overs. Everyone present at the Main, apart from the one who mattered, was convinced S Shearer had Morris caught behind in the last over before drinks, but alas OMs’ went into the break two down. Following the intermission, S Shearer and Bonwick picked up right where they left off and all of a sudden had stalled all momentum in the OMs’ batting innings. In a short period, Bonwick dismissed Swann and Morris to have the visitors reeling and well behind the eight ball. It was truly one of the more special finals performances from Bonners, returning 2/11 off his eight overs, and one that I couldn’t have been prouder of. He has been a stalwart of the side and club over a number of years and it was a beautiful moment for the understated and modest medium-pacer.
From there it was all OSCC and Goad, Hays and Clark were able to mop up the tale without too much fuss, with Old Melburnians dismissed for 138 off the final delivery of the innings. It was a phenomenal effort from the bowling unit, after being placed under some real pressure for the first hour or so of proceedings.
If there’s one thing we all know about finals cricket, it’s that there is very rarely such a thing as an easy run chase and Old Melburnians were certain to come out fired up and ready to go. Cam Hemp and Matt Mitchell opened the innings for the home side, with Hemp taking 18 off the second over, to have OSCC off to the perfect start. Mitchell soon fell, though, and the OM’s boys were up and about with the hosts 1/20. S Shearer joined Hemp at the crease and was met by a fired up Old Melburnians’ welcome, before making a bright start with a couple of early boundaries settling some OSCC nerves. From that moment on, the chase was always under control and Hemp and S Shearer combined for a 100 run partnership to nullify any chance of an OMs’ charge. S Shearer fell with a few left to win, leaving M Sparks to cap off a fine season with a flurry of boundaries and the winning runs. It was a fantastic run chase and one I was proud to play a part in, with real credit going to young Cam Hemp who showed great poise and character to carry his bat in a winning Grand Final chase.
It was a truly special day on the Scotch Main Oval and one that all of the boys will long remember, capping off a season in which the side’s record reads 14 wins and zero losses. I would like to take this chance to thank everyone involved and who make OSCC such a special place to play cricket. To the committee, who make my job a breeze, the Second XI legends, who had a great season themselves and were there with us every step of the way - all year and on Sunday, the club legends who came down, our sponsors, the Elgin, AANDI Lawyers and Pinnacle Road Finance and all friends and family - thank you. It was a fitting end to comfortably the most enjoyable season of Old Scotch cricket I’ve experienced and hopefully a sign of things to come in the next few years!