After starting the tournament with a crushing 66-run defeat to Queensland in the opening match of the tournament, the ACT Rockets recovered magnificently to eventually defeat the same side in the grand final by 9 runs to be crowned the Open Men’s champions of the 2017 Australian Open Championships.
The ACT Rockets went into the final having extracted revenge over Queensland in the major semi-final by a commanding 63 runs and inflicted Queensland’s first loss of the tournament. However, the Rockets would face a rejuvenated Queensland team in the final on the back of their impressive victory over Victoria in the Preliminary Final.
Starting the final in the field against Queensland, the ACT Rockets got off to a slow start, allowing the Queensland side to progress to 53 runs at the halfway point of their innings. The Rockets then managed to hit their strides, restricting Queensland to only 22 runs in the final eight overs. The run chase got off to a terrific start with Tim Floros and Grant McDonald individually starring with 18 and 14 respectively in the opening two pairs. In the final four overs, they required 13 runs for victory in which captain Matt Floros and Brock Winkler combined for 21 runs to seal the title.
When asked about the victory, ACT Rockets head coach Billy Floros described his side as a resilient group of individuals, “After a slow start and a few injury concerns, the players stood up as a group to claim the national title. They worked so hard for the four months prior to the tournament in very cold Canberra conditions and have earnt all the success they are currently enjoying.”
Brock Winkler was named player of the grand final, starring in all areas, scoring 14 runs in the final pair of the match while also taking 1 for 4 from his two overs and producing some brilliant touches in the field.