A nail-biting final over has seen the Colts Cricket Club prevail over minor premiers Eaton to secure the Bunbury & Districts Cricket Association premiership.
Eaton and Colts engaged in a two-day slugfest last weekend at Eaton Sports Ground which resulted in Colts taking home the flag with an aggregate score of 286 over Eaton’s 285.
The Bobtails returned to the pitch for the second innings on Sunday, which saw skipper Clayton Caltsounis bowled out by Colts’ Jack Buswell during the second over for two runs.
Despite a number of close calls, the partnership of Josh Grime and Troy Lewis seemed to bode well for the Bobtails, until Grime was caught out for 19 runs by Murray Goodwin.
Lightning struck twice for Goodwin who went on to catch star all-rounder Julian Crudeli out for just nine runs, much to the chagrin of Crudeli.
A number of maiden overs seemed to hamper Eaton’s chances of building on the advantage they obtained during the first innings as Colts began to ramp up the pace in the fielding efforts.
Eaton’s struggle continued as a succession of wickets fell from the 36th over including James Hillery run out for 17 runs, Lewis caught out for 37, as well as Kaine May (20 runs) and Jacob Wintle (duck) falling in consecutive wickets bowled by Bevan Bennell.
With just two balls left in the 50 overs, Eaton were all out for 126.
Eager to chase down the Bobtails, Colts began batting with a purpose with Brian Hughes managing an early four runs.
However, the initial burst of energy was short-lived with Hughes caught out for six runs in the first wicket to fall for Crudeli.
In the midst of close calls and powerful shots delivered by Crudeli, Colts seemed to struggle making a worthwhile dent in their 158-run deficit.
The outlook seemed bleak at the 25-over mark with five wickets already fallen with Crudeli and Steven Barron taking two wickets each for Eaton.
However, the partnership of Bennell and Caillin Blackwood began chipping away with singles and doubles to breathe new hope into the Colts.
Bennell soon produced the big hits he was known for, producing two fours and eventually a six during the 36th over.
Although a four saw him reach the seemingly elusive half-century, Bennell was eventually bowled out by Crudeli for 54 runs.
Cruize Ciallella soon stepped up with some big hits of his own, edging the Colts closer and closer to the premiership.
However, an lbw saw Ciallella out for 38 runs, leaving Luke McPherson and skipper Josh Topliss to finish the job with nine runs left from 16 balls.
Small hits saw the pair continue chipping away towards the win with the contest coming down to the final over of the match with Jacob Wintle set to bowl.
A single from McPherson set up the opportunity for Topliss to hit one more run but a fateful wide bowl instead sealed the deal for the Colts.
During post-match presentations, Bennell was named Player of the Grand Final for his outstanding batting display.
It comes after Eaton gave themselves the upper hand on Saturday courtesy of a strong display from Crudeli with four wickets, three of which came in a rollicking opening spell which left the Colts reeling at 3-13 before they eventually finished the day with 127.
Earlier in the day, Eaton set a target of 159, with Crudeli’s score of 35 also leading the way with the bat.
However, the Bobtails’ efforts did not come without a cost with Arron Quartermain appearing to injure his back during an innocuous incident which ruled him out for the second innings.
It was suspected Quartermaine had suffered a back spasm.