The highlight of a great Sunday of Grand Finals action was a splendid run chase by the Mackay Shield boys, the first time SECA has won this grade. At various stages the team looked like it may not get to the finals, but the coaches and boys remained strong, and we had to beat two undefeated teams to take out the flag. Mornington elected to bat and posted an impressive 9/145 off their 45 overs, with Pat Proper (4/32) and Matt Corcoran 2/14) bowling well to keep the target manageable. Opener Sam Strong made 27, but at 2/40 SECA needed partnership. Big left-hander Corey Barden stepped up to the plate and made 60 off 80 balls, taking us within range of victory before James O'Neill (20 no) piloted us home at 5/148. A superb effort from coaches Chris Reid and Stan Moraitis to keep the team upbeat and confident.
After struggling a bit with the bat in the leadup games, everything clicked in the grand final after West Gippsland rashly sent us in. Zac Grech (22) started well but we re in rocky waters at 5/64, but Oliver Moran (45), Luke Nixon-Smith20) and Minro Eshwara (15no) got us to a respectable 8/145. The West Gippsland innings soon degenerated into a rout, Andrew Loffel (3/6) and big-game player Nick Sharpin (4/5) creating havoc with his leggies as West Gippsland were dispatched for 43 in only 28 overs.routing .
The U16 Beitzel team bowled well to restrict Mornington to 120 (Chris Hall 4/21, Flynn Mountford 2/13), but the batting was a disaster, with Kobe Heitlinger (22) playing a lone hand as SECA were bowled out for 81.
In the U12 Mitchell Shield, Ringwood struggled initially at 6/58 but fought back to post 7/129 (Sam Hay 2/10, Chris Kellaway 2/8). SECA were off to a poor start at 2/6, fought back to have the game under control at 4/95, but both Alex Cortese (32) and Max Walker (28) managed to get themselves out within the space of 5 balls and SECA lost 6/18 to end up all out 113. It all turned on two key batsmen but unfortunately the players lacked the discipline and experience to keep their heads down.
After having to shift their game to another ground, the JB Plate boys bowled well to restrict Ringwood to 76 (Austen Gillard 2/7, Luke Sullivan 2/11, Phil Galanopoulos 2/15). Ringwood opener Quinn batted patiently to make 31 off 104 balls on a very slow surface, an example our boys would have done well to follow as it won Ringwood the match. Nate Edwards (14), Alex Pitman (14), Moe Spencer (11) and Charlie Wood (11) all got starts but wickets hemorrhaged and we ended up bowled out 3 runs short - and with 32 balls left in the match. Panic and inexperience cost the boys the flag.