The Shoalhaven District Junior Cricket Association Under 16s Rep team travelled to Bradman Oval in Bowral on Sunday to play Highlands in the Greater Illawarra Zone Inter-Association Grand Final.
(min cost $8)
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The ground was in perfect condition and the team were looking forward to playing at such a historic place.
In a reversal of the result from their round 1 meeting, Highlands came out on top this time proving too strong for Shoalhaven to become the inaugural winners of the Steve Edwards Cup.
Highlands won the toss and elected to bat first on what appeared to be a good pitch and fast outfield, putting on 8/263 from 50 overs. Half centuries by Liam Bayliss (62) and Oscar Murton (59) made for a formidable target.
The stand-out bowlers for Shoalhaven were Lorcan Edwards-Villalta with 4-46, Toby Huard 2-48, and Blake Dixon 1-35 all from 10 overs each. Troy Sweet was economical but had no luck with the wickets, finishing 0-22 from his 10 overs.
With Riley Jarrett unavailable, Ben Lans ably filled in and took three catches in the field. Toby Huard also scored a direct hit run-out. Josh Vanzetti, Troy Sweet and Jack Walsh also took catches.
In reply Shoalhaven were ambushed by some great medium pace bowling early on and while the outfield was fast and promised plenty of runs, Shoalhaven couldn’t build on their partnerships.
Opener Jack Sweet top scored with 18 and Darcy Hopkins (15) batted well trying to steady the innings. However, a good spell of spin bowling from the Highlands’ Toby Smith (4-11) put paid to any chance Shoalhaven may have had. Ben Lans (16 not out) and Lorcan Edwards-Villalta (10) hit out towards the end to no avail and the visitors were bowled out for 80.
Despite the loss, the team should be justly proud of their achievements in the competition in finishing second overall. All players contributed to the successes of the team and the experience of playing against quality opposition mostly on turf pitches will greatly benefit the players in their cricket development.
Blake Dixon finished as the Shoalhaven’s leading wicket taker with 9 wickets at an average of 15.89, followed closely with 7 wickets by Riley Jarrett (10.71) and Lorcan Edwards-Villalta (18.29). Josh Vanzetti (17.83) and Toby Huard (18.00) finished with 6 wickets each.
The top of the batting list saw Jack Walsh with 164 runs with an average of 27.3 with Jack Sweet (22.4) just behind with 157. This was followed with 87 by Marley Arthur (14.5) and 66 by Riley Jarret (13.2).
Wicketkeeper Jack Sweet completed the competition with 10 catches and a stumping while Jack Walsh led the fielding with eight catches.
The new Zone arrangements and the participation in the Sydney DCA competition provided the opportunity for Blake Dixon, Ben Lans, Darcy Hopkins, Lorcan Edwards-Villalta, Cameron Murray and Josh Vanzetti to play representative cricket for the Shoalhaven.
Coaches Chris Labb and Angus Huard worked hard in getting the team together and providing guidance to the boys throughout the competition.
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