THE under 16 grand final did not disappoint the large crowd that turned up at Bernie Regan Sporting complex. All were kept on the edge of their seats until the North Nowra-Cambewarra Blues claimed victory in a suspenseful match that saw its fair share of tears and celebration.
As expected the Norths’ Ison Brothers Adam and Ben. Along with the twins from Bay and Basin, Michael and Brandon Labb, each played crucial roles in the match.
After Norths won the Saturday morning toss and elected to bat, Adam Ison strode to the middle determined to make his final inning of the season count.
Unfortunately as he made his way toward an eventual 64, Lachlan Butfield (0 lbw b S O'Bierne) and Dylan Turner (0 run out) struggled against the Bay and Basin attack.
It was up to Adam’s brother, and team captain, Ben Ison to settle things down. The pair posted a 67 run partnership before Ben was dismissed by Matthew Zuzic for 27.
Lachlan Adlington then joined Adam Ison in the centre and together to pair picked up the run rate until Shannon O'Bierne made the crucial breakthrough Bay needed when Zuzic got his hands to a great catch to dismiss Ison for 64.
Adlington scored 43 runs before he to became another Zuzic victim, and when Michael Labb trapped Dane Bowen in front for 17 runs Norths were 6/167 and confident of finishing with a good total.
Harry McGill (6) and an unbeaten 11 runs from John Perkins would prove crucial in the final wash-up. North batted out their maximum 50 overs to finish 9/187.
Michael Labb (3/21/9), Matthew Zuzic (3/30/9) and Shannon O'Bierne (2/21/8) were the best for the Bay and Basin attack.
Bay and Basin suffered a rocky start to its run chase when Norths’ Lachlan Adlington had Bay struggling at 2/12. He clean bowled Connor McQueen for five runs and then combined with Adam Ison to see Rocco Battagliolo dispatched for just four runs.
With two wickets down and only 12 runs on the scoreboard Bay needed a calming force, and as it has done so often this season, it came in the form of twins Michael and Brandon Labb. The pair settled in for a hard fought 47 run partnership and weathered the best Norths could throw at them. With the score on 2/119 Brad Ison made the breakthrough Norths needed when Lachlan Adlington took a great catch to dismiss Michael Labb. As Michael Made his way from the field brother Brandon walked with him congratulating him on a superb innings.
Just a couple of balls later a mix up between new batter Callum Franchi and Labb saw Franchi run out and on his way back to the sheds. An obviously upset Franchi struggled to contain his emotions as he left the field.
With the Basin lower order exposed against the Norths attack wickets started to fall quickly. Brandon Labb tried all he could to reach to total but found himself stranded on the devils number 87, when Adam Ison took the wicket of Brody Buist to claim the match and the grand final victory.
Lachlan Adlington finished with figures of 3/30 from his 10 overs while Adam Ison took 2/24.