Associates stun Tuff Dogs knockout final
Dave Horan struck a six off the final ball as The Associates put years of disappointment behind them by halting the Tuff Dogs juggernaut in the most dramatic fashion and winning the Evening Cricket League’s Premier Division knockout final by three wickets at Somerset Cricket Club at the weekend
After Tuff Dogs, seeking a fourth consecutive league and cup double, posted 178 for six in their 20 overs, with bowlers allowed five overs apiece under ECL rules, the odds were stacked against The Associates, who still needed 53 to win off the last four overs.
A flurry of runs saw the equation come down to eight required off the final over delivered by Terence Corday, the Tuff Dogs captain. Four were still needed off the last ball.
Horan hit it to long-off where Justin Barritt settled underneath it only for the ball to go through his hands, hit his shoulder and bounce on to the top of the boundary for six.
“That last over is a memory that a lot of us older players will cherish for a long time to come,” said Simon Jones, the captain of The Associates, who lost to Tuff Dogs by 66 runs in last year’s final and last won the cup six years ago. “It was nice to be on the winning side for a change.”
PHC, runners-up in the second tier, also upstaged the league champions by beating CV Chargers in the First Division final by 39 runs.
Maclaren Lowe gave Tuff Dogs a flying start after they were sent in, smashing five sixes and four fours in his 64 and Davon Wade, at number six, kept the runs flowing with three sixes and three fours in an unbeaten 45, while Kwame Tucker chipped in with 25.
Horan and Tom Edwards were the pick of The Associates’ attack with two for 51 and one for 38 respectively in a total that contained only four extras.
In The Associates’ reply, Matt Ball made 29, Will Tyrell 28 and Kian Wookey 23, but the game swung their way when James Troughton came in at number seven and made 26 off 12 balls, ably assisted by Edwards, who finished 20 not out, in their 181 for seven.
“All in all, it was a very well played final with both teams taking the game away from the other, only to see the other team wrestle back the momentum,” said Corday, the pick of his side’s attack with three for 34 while Bevin Carr took one for 31. “For me, Troughton and Edwards’ innings were the difference.”
Added Corday: “Bowling was our weakness. We went into the game with only four recognised bowlers — we were missing Arnold Manders and Monroe Darrell — and lost one of them, Trevor Corday, [who hurt his knee] in his first over.
“So I had to make up those other four overs with guys who haven’t bowled much at all; those four overs going for 56 runs.”
Said Jones, the winning captain: “Tuff Dogs got off to a bit of a flyer with the bat, but the guys showed huge heart to peg them back to less than 180. Tom Edwards bowled superbly.
“We may have dropped a few catches, but that didn’t affect morale and we never stopped fighting in some pretty tough conditions.
“With the bat, everyone contributed. Will Tyrrell and Mike Penrose got us off to a steady start and Kian Wookey and Matt Ball kept us up with the run rate in the middle overs before James Troughton, Tom Edwards and Dave Horan saw us across the line.
“It was an incredible chase; the guys just kept finding the boundaries when we needed to and Tom, Dave and James were simply immense at the end.
“We’ve come out second best so many times over the last year, and that’s often been against Tuff Dogs, which makes this victory all the sweeter,” Jones added.
In the second final, PHC made 164 for three and then dismissed CV Chargers for 125 with two overs left.
Somers Carr, the captain, made 39 in CV Chargers’ reply, with Phil Froncioni chipping in with 30 and Ben Fox 23. Earlier, Will Haddrell took two for 38 and Carr one for 32.
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