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U/15s go back to back with Weblin Shield Premiership

on Sunday 14th December 2014, the Manly Warringah Junior Cricket Association U/15 representative team won the Weblin Shield for 2014/15.

After securing the U/14’s premiership last season, this side has now gone 2 seasons in a row undefeated, and became our first ever winners of the Weblin Shield. They also became the first ever team in Manly Warringah junior representative history to win back-to-back premierships.

The side contains 2 players who already have grade experience in Aiden Bariol and Isaiah Vumbaca, as well as containing 6 2014/15 Green Shield players such as Nick Osborne and Jack Edwards. They are also very well coached by Roy Vumbaca and Paul O’Sullivan.

Manly 8/200 (59 overs) defeated Bankstown 10/199 (60 overs) – Manly wins EG Weblin Shield

Nick Osborne 56
Ned Hole 35
Aiden Bariol 33
Isaiah Vumbaca 28

Isaiah Vumbaca 4/44 (12 overs)
Will Yeaman 3/46 (11 overs)
Shahill Nair 1/11 (8 overs)
Jacob O’Sullivan 1/19 (7 overs)

Picturesque Manly Oval was the venue for the final of the U15DCA. Both teams were thrilled to be playing on this beautiful oval. Bankstown won a good toss and batted first. Hayden Brown & Shahill Nair opened the bowling and it wasn’t long before Shahill snared the first wicket for the day with a full length ball which stayed straight hitting the pad for LBW. Bankstown consolidated but after 10 overs they were struggling at 1-18. Hayden Brown had bowled 5 overs for only 4 runs and Shahill had the impressive figures of 1-8 off 5. Jacob O’Sullivan and Matt Moran bowled first change and they kept the pressure on with good tight bowling. Jacob was bowling consistently at of stump and picked up the 2nd wicket with a good off cutter through a good catch by Ned Hole at first slip. Bankstown were finding things tough and Isaiah came onto to bowl. He had an immediate impact as the batter mis-timed a shot and Jonah Anderson took a good catch at point. 3/33 from 22 overs, Bankstown were finding it tough, however things were about to change.

The next 30 minutes almost cost us the match. Two uncharacteristic dropped catches left their two new batters thinking it was their lucky day and they cashed in. 141 runs later and Bankstown were in full command. During their excellent partnership we also managed to clean bowl one of them only for the ball to be called (correctly) a no-ball. The pressure was on us as Bankstown were looking at a score over 230. We were wondering where the next wicket was going to come from. The final drinks break of their innings could not come quick enough as Bankstown cruised to 3/171 with 17 overs left. We did note that the batters were getting tired and their footwork was not as sharp as at the start of their partnership so we decided to put our spin twins – Isaiah Vumbaca & Will Yeaman back into the attack. The first over after drinks and Will took a brilliant caught & bowled to end a fantastic partnership. The next over Isaiah had the other dangerous batter stumped by a neat piece of keeping by Aiden. Suddenly our fielding found its spark and their middle/lower order was exposed. Our spinners cleaned them up, taking the tenth wicket off the last ball in the 60th over. They lost their last 7 wickets for 29 runs. Nonetheless, chasing 200 was going to take all our skill, ability & belief.

Our top order had scored most of the runs this season and we were looking toward them to score the bulk of the runs, but cricket is a funny game and deep down we knew we would need all 11 batters if we were to win this.

We lost Jack Edwards early but this brought the in-form Nick Osborne to the crease. Nick and Aiden consolidated and batted well to take the score to a solid 73 before Aiden hit a ball back to the bowler who took a good catch. Bankstown lifted with Aiden’s wicket and Isaiah arrived at the crease. Nick was in good touch, finding the gaps and boundary regularly. They put on 23 valuable runs for our 3rd wicket but when Nick was out caught, Bankstown celebrated with joy and Ned joined Isaiah at 3/96, we had to re-group. Tea was looming and it was important not to lose another wicket. At tea, the scales were delicately balanced. Bankstown were buoyant as they entered the change room, they could smell victory but we were quietly confident in our ability. We needed 100 runs from the last 23 overs with 7 wickets in hand.

After the tea break, Ned and Isaiah consolidated against good tight bowling but the runs were drying up and the pressure was slowly building. When Isaiah was bowled we needed 54 runs from 10 overs. The atmosphere was tense and every run was counted from here on in. The umpires were working overtime keeping the players settled. On two occasions they had to intervene & warn the Bankstown boys for sledging, most likely it was an attempt to dent our confidence. Little did they know that all it did was to strengthen our resolve. Jacob & Ned attacked the first ball of each over with much affect, then cleverly pushed singles. This frustrated the fielders and the run rate dropped down to 4 runs per over and the momentum began to swing back in Manly’s favour. When Jacob was caught at cover to a good catch, Bankstown really lifted in the field and the momentum went back to them. Jonah joined Ned and continued batting positively. They were not going to let this slip. More twists were to come as we crept closer to their score only to lose Ned, Jonah and Matt M in the space of 14 runs.

Bankstown could touch the shield, but not grasp it. They were not to know of the quality and depth in our lower order. Hayden and Matt Brewster needed to score the final 10 runs from 18 balls. By this stage the wicket was keeping low, the fielding was circled around the inner field and the bowling was focussed. Matt & Hayden’s task had been practiced many times at training but never in the context of a grand final. It needed cool heads and self-belief. They worked brilliantly together picking up quick singles and finding the gaps for 2’s. They confidently worked the ball around the field. Then, off the final ball of the 59th over, with the scores tied, Matt pushed the ball neatly behind square, Hayden set off for the quickest of singles. The ball came speeding into the keeper’s gloves, the bails were off in a milli-second, Bankstown went up for a run out, the umpire paused and said ‘not out’, Manly had won the match. The players poured onto the field as the crowd jumped into the air with excitement. What a sensational finish to a magnificent game of cricket.

Our boys had won the Weblin Shield for the first time in Manly’s history and in doing so they also became the first Manly Junior DCA cricket team to win back to back shields. It was a tremendous team effort and one that will be remembered for many years to come. The jubilant scenes and celebrations which followed will be happily remembered by all the players, parents, families & friends. But the memory that sits most fondly with the coaches occurred later in the day when the sun was setting over the field. The presentation was over, the team song had been sung with passion and the crowd had left the grandstand. While the parents were popping champagne corks in the pavilion, our boys all sat quietly in a circle in the middle of the pitch, reminiscing about their famous victory. It was a special moment for them and a special moment for us, watching over them from a distance. We don’t know what was said, we’ll leave that with them.

A big thanks to the Manly supporters from grade, shires and other Manly rep teams who came down to support. We are fortunate to play for such a wonderful family club. Thanks also to Steve Bariol who’s contribution to our success and the fitness of our players cannot be measured as it is invaluable, to Shane Moran for all the behind the scenes managerial work, often working cricket emails and phone calls in between meetings and late at night. Phill Edwards and Penny Moran for point accurate scoring and stats, Sharon for catering arrangements, our a’tea is often described as the best a’tea in Sydney and to all our wonderful & supportive parents who contribute in so many significant ways to our team success.

We have been most fortunate to have the support of the Manly grade club through Gainsy & Butch and to Bobby Rollins – the batting maestro, our players have benefitted so much from his expertise.

Paul O’Sullivan and Roy Vumbaca

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