Rain-cancelled grand final leaves Berry victorious

SHOALHAVEN District first grade finished with a bit of an anti-climax, with Berry-Shoalhaven Heads being crowned premiers, without a ball being bowled. 

Due to the heavy rain during the week, no play was possible on Saturday or Sunday at Berry Sporting Complex, meaning the home side was awarded victory over Shoalhaven Ex-Servicemen because they finished as minor premiers. 

Both sides enjoyed a memorable run into the finals series, but in the end Berry showed just how crucial it was for them to finish minor premiers. 

A slow start saw the Magpies lose their first two games of the season, but they came home with a wet sail, going through unbeaten after Christmas, with three outright wins to take top spot. 

They were made to work hard just to earn their place in the grand final, chasing down Bomaderry’s total of 228 to win last week’s semi final. 

Glenn Brandon was the man at the forefront of their victory, scoring an unbeaten 138 to get them over the line. 

Brandon said it is not the way they would have liked to win it, but thought it was a just reward for their performances throughout the season. 

“Obviously you’d like to play to win, but we’ve put ourselves in this position and that’s why you fight hard during the season,” he said. 

“They (Ex-Servos) have come home strong, but we were rewarded for a good, consistent season throughout.

“Everyone in the team has contributed to a win at some point.” 

Brandon and Brad Carey were both a part of the team in 2010-11 when Berry last won the premiership, but it is the first time most of their squad has won a first grade title for the club. 

Having been runners-up for the past two seasons, there is no doubt the Magpies are happy to have their name back on the trophy. 

“I’ve got a couple of good mates in their side, so it’s good to finally get one back,” Brandon said. 

“I think the rivalry between Berry and Shoalhaven Ex-Servicemen is well and truly back,” he added. 

Brandon also gave credit to their skipper Kerry Penfold, for the amazing influence he has had on the club. 

While it was a bittersweet end to the season for their opponents Shoalhaven Ex-Servicemen, it worked in the club’s favour in second grade.

It was the exact same situation at Hayden Drexel Oval, where no play was possible in the second grade decider between Ex-Servos and Nowra. 

Ex-Servos managed to go through the season undefeated, to secure an unprecedented fourth consecutive title. 

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