The Boorowa Crocs have advanced to the Yass District Cricket Sweeney Cup grand final after a stunning second last ball victory over their club counterparts the Gators in yet another thriller between the local teams.
The Crocs will now take on rivals Binalong this Saturday at O’Connor Park in Yass commencing at 12.30pm.
The Gators won the toss and elected to bat with the opening combination of Russell George and Simon Pye making a very steady start to reach 0-11 in the first eight overs.
Chris Dwyer and Nick Dwyer bowled with great control which soon saw wickets start to tumble through scoreboard pressure.
Pye, Elkins and McIntosh all went for single figures whilst Russell George went for 14.
At 4/48 off 20 overs the Crocs looked in command and a score of less than 100 was possible.
However a magnificent 138 fifth wicket stand off just 18 overs between Andrew Burns and Mick Canellis had the Gators back in control at 5/186.
Mick Canellis continued his late season form with a bright 52 whilst Andrew Burns was brutal on the Crocs attack smashing an unbeaten 91 in a total of 6/191.
Best of the Crocs attack was Nick Dwyer with 1/31 and Blake Toman 1/11 whilst Alex Blomfield 2/45 and Cameron Johnston 2/37 were the other wicket takers.
In reply the Crocs began very steadily losing James Green in the third over as they reached 1/9 after 5 overs.
Jye Paterson and Blake Anderson then progressed the score to 1/55 in 14 overs and keep the required run rate below six an over.
Disaster struck in the fifteen over as they lost the key wicket of Jye for 24 followed moments later by Blake for 23.
At 3/55 the Crocs were again teetering on the edge. The Crocs consolidated to reach 3/67 at drinks with 135 required off the last 20 overs at nearly seven an over. It was skipper Chris Dwyer along with the rock solid Byron Campbell who set about a rescue mission and take the Crocs to within range of victory.
The 98 run fourth wicket stand between these batsmen took the Crocs too 3/153 still requiring a further 39 off nine overs with seven wickets left.
But just as the game had swung towards the Crocs, more drama followed when Chris fell for a brilliant 68 followed shortly after by Byron for a controlled 24 with the score at 5/156.
Cameron Johnston had been in this position in finals before and together with cameos by Nick Dwyer and Alex Blomfield took the team to victory on the second last ball of the day.
Cameron made a vital 16 not out as the Crocs passed the score with seven wickets down.
Andrew Burns was the pick of the Gators bowling with a tight 2/14 off 8 overs whilst Mick Elkins 2/29, Chris McIntosh 2/21 and Russell George 1/39 were the other wicket takers.
It was a disappointing way for the Gators season to end losing just two games in the regular season before going out in straight semi final losses. But no doubt plans are already being made for an assault on next season.
The Grand Final this weekend between Binalong and the Crocs promises to be another thriller.
The Crocs have been living on the edge of oblivion for the last two weeks but have somehow found a way to win.
After a miraculous victory against Murrumbateman two weeks ago, they used another get out of jail card against the Gators last Saturday.
If they do bring home the Cup on Saturday, they will have earned it, having to defeat every other semi finalist along the way.
Binalong has strengths in both batting and bowling but it may well be the Crocs all round depth that can get them home.
The Crocs have plenty of Grand finals experience in their team with several players including Skipper Chris Dwyer, Nick Dwyer, Phil Coggins, Cameron Johnston and Blake Anderson winning recent Premierships in the Young competition before Boorowa returned to Yass District Cricket in 2015.
Boorowa last won the Sweeney Cup almost three decades ago way back in 1989 at the same venue as this Saturday’s big game.
Amazingly, Boorowa still has one survivor from that winning team, Phil Coggins who captained that side and will line up in this Saturday’s grand final.
Interesting to note, that none of his team mates were even born back then.
Coggo will be playing in his 12th Grand Final in Boorowa colours and often tells his team mates that 2020 was just a Sci-Fi TV show in those days not the Mickey Mouse game that has consumed the cricketing world.
Despite their youth, the side has grown in confidence in recent weeks and last week showed plenty of improvement with the bat.
The Crocs strength has been their bowling and this will no doubt play a huge role in securing a win. Nick Dwyer has been sensational as the spearhead being ably supported by brother and Captain Chris.
Blake Toman and Jye Paterson have been excellent sat first and second change whilst Cameron Johnston, Alex Blomfield and James Green can all bowl useful spells of pace on their day. Add young gun Jacob Piper to the pace attack and skipper Chris Dwyer is spoilt for choice.
They say variety is the spice of life and it could well be the slow men Josh Grey and Phil Coggins they may be able to produce a wicket or two on the O’ConnorPark pitch which at times has been covered in sand creating plenty of grip.
The batting at times this season has been a little fragile but on the back of chasing down 190 last week, they will go into the final being confident they can chase a significant total.
Phil Coggins and James Green have been the usual openers and will be keen to blunt to Binalong opening attack of Dylan Arabin and Victor Coble.
If Boorowa can get through the 15-20 overs with little damage, their middle order led by Jye Paterson, Chris Dwyer and Blake Anderson should be able to launch an assault.
Byron Campbell has matured greatly at No.5 and another steady innings would be just what the doctor ordered.
All rounder Cameron Johnston has the ability to clear the fence as does Nick Dwyer and who can forget that critical innings of Josh Grey two weeks ago that was a match winner.
Blake Anderson will take the keeping Gloves and has plenty of experience in big games.
The side has had a low key built up this week training last night and are hoping the weather gods are kind to them come Saturday.
Hopefully come Saturday night the Sweeney Cup will take up new residence at the Courthouse hotel. The club thanks all our supporters for the year so far and we hope that many of you can enjoy the ride at Yass on Saturday.
If you have a weak heart, maybe seek advice from your Doctor before attending this game as the Crocs have been involved in thrilling clashes for the last four weeks.
It’s more than likely Saturday will be no different. See you all Saturday as the might Crocs go for glory.