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Waratahs go down to Parramatta in Green Shield Grand Final

Manly 9/165 (Mendel 59, Bennett 40) def by Parramatta 6/167 (Hobson 3/26, Park 2/30)

The Travelsim Manly Warringah Waratahs have lost the 2017/18 Green Shield Grand Final, going down to Parramatta in a hard fought contest.

It was a great campaign from our U16 team, showing great fight all throughout the competition. That fight continued in the Grand Final as they didn’t give up all match.

Despite the loss, all the boys should be very proud of how they played in the Grand Final where there is no doubt that we recieved the rough end of the stick as far as conditions were concerned.

However, there is also no doubt that the boys lost to a better Parramatta side. They were the benchmark all year, going through the rounds and final series undefeated.

Turning up to Merrylands Oval, we were greeted by a severely under prepared pitch. This made the toss all important, but skipper Mendel called incorrectly and Parramatta had no hesitation in sending us into bat.

The pitch turned out to be as treacherous as it looked. Balls short of a length were popping up over batsmen’s head, and it was a really tough going against some quality fast bowling from Parramatta. We lost batting mainstays Jake Osborne and Hilton Ovenden with the score at 2, and then young Joel Davies was hit in the head and needed to retire hurt.

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At effectivley 3/2 we were really up against it. However Luke Morley and Callum McKay, both elevated up the order to try and ride out the tough conditions, battled hard.

Morley was particularly impressive, hitting 15 valuable runs off 35 balls.

Both batsmen were removed close together and we were 4/40 off 22 overs. Something special was needed to get us to a competitive total, and we found that in skipper Brynn Mendel and all-rounder Aidan Bennett.

Both batsmen started out slowly as the deck was still doing a fair bit. However, realising the the pitch was drying out and we needed to put together a competitive total to be in with a shot of winning, they began to accelerate at the 35 over mark.

Mendel played his most important knock of the Green Shield campaign, hitting a few big balls out of the ground, although was eventually run-out for 59 off 96 balls. Aidan was dismissed for 40 off 94 balls.

At 9/159 with 1 ball remaining we needed something special to finish the innings off, and young Sam Jones delivered with a fantastic 6 over extra cover to get us to 165 after 50 overs. With a defendable total, one felt that this was the momentum that we needed going into Parramatta’s innings.

We started on fire with the ball, Josh Park bowling their opener around his pads and then Jack Hobson getting the other opener caught behind. 2 for 11 and it was game on.

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However, from here the innings was dominated by Parramatta Captain Harrisson King (63) and ‘keeper Ryan Johns (50). Harrison was particularly impressive, taking full advantage of the improved batting conditions.

However, the pitch was not completely benign just yet and you sensed it only took 1 wicket to change the match.

This occurred with Johns mistiming a pull shot off Park, a direct hit run-out from Hilton Ovenden, and then Hobson getting the key man Harrison caught at gully by Callum McKay. We were back in with a chance at 5 for 134.

When Hobson then bowled the number 7 for a duck we thought that something special was brewing. At 6 for 145 we needed 4 wickets and Parramatta needed 21 runs.

Alas, we didn’t quite have enough runs and Parramatta cruised to victory for the loss of no further wickets in the 37th over.

It was a great campaign from our boys, coming back from losing 2 of their first 4 matches to go on an undefeated run right up until the Grand Final. They played as a team all season and showed the great depth we have in our juniors here at Manly.

Congratulations to Parramatta on the win once again, the best team all season and well deserved.

Go Manly!!