After 12 years in the Barossa & Light Cricket Association, including 8 seasons of playing finals and two One-Day Premierships, Sandy Creek has finally cracked the big one, winning the A1 premiership!
In a competition as tight as the Barossa league, premierships often come down to a decent slice of luck, as well as doing the right things at the right time of the season. For Sandy Creek, one bit of luck came when Nuriootpa knocked off Tanunda, as it meant the A’s got to host the Grand Final.
The second slice of luck was losing a toss that wasn’t a bad toss to lose. On an overcast day after some rain the day before and a little in the morning with the sun due on Sunday, choosing to bat wasn’t the straightforward choice it would have ordinarily been. But Nuri stuck with tradition – get the runs on the board, especially in finals.
Will O’Brien, fresh off a 5-for the night before in the U17s premiership, got the Cockies off to a great start, picking up the skipper and top run scorer for the year in Steinborner for a duck and then number three Jordan Roesler shortly afterwards. When Jamie Diener picked up their other main run scorer in Moore to make it 3/25, it looked like Sandy were going to roll through the Tigers pretty quickly.
However, Robertson and Ryan mounted a comeback over the next 20 overs, before Aussie Poulton was thrown the ball and spun them both out in his first three overs. Jamie Diener then joined the party and played “your turn to get a wicket” with Aussie for the rest of the innings, with Nuri suffering a collapse of 7/35 to end proceedings. Aussie picked up 4/14 off 10 and Jamie finished with 4/28 off 18.3, and the Cockatoos were feeling pretty good about the chase ahead.
Nuri’s strength all year has been their bowling, so 115 was more challenging than it would have been against some teams. Travis Gebauer got off to a quickfire start, but was caught at the tail end of just the second over. Aussie Poulton and Riley Horsburgh then both fell to the experienced Doecke before skipper Rhys “Rooster” Handtke and nightwatchman Nathan “Pumper” Gum saw the Cockies through to stumps with just under 70 to get with 7 wickets in hand.
Rooster fell to a sharp close in catch early on the Sunday and Nuriootpa had their tails up. But Gummy and DK showed great composure and steadily progressed the total closer to the target. When Pumper fell in Mader’s first over, there were only 22 runs to get with superstar Jamie Diener striding to the crease, so the comfort levels were high. Jamie must have been nervous though, because he blocked the first two balls he faced. After that, Jamie did what Jamie does and DK hit his second six, and a 23 run partnership off 17 balls saw the Cockies home so comfortably that Nuriootpa called it a day.
Congratulations to coach Corey Roberts, skipper Rhys Handtke and the whole team on a job well done!