Batting first at a pristine Manuka Oval, Queanbeyan made 261 with Tyler Van Luin leading the way with an unbeaten 73* (75), following up a stellar century in the semi-final.
Weston Creek’s Harry Medhurst removed both openers as they started to build momentum, including Brad Falkenberg who was looking dangerous on 23 (24). However, Queanbeyan’s middle-order produced a solid all-round team performance to build a competitive total, with Vele Dukoski (38), Mark Higgs (28), Mark Solway (39) and Dean Solway (28) making valuable contributions before Van Luin’s innings boosted Queanbeyan through their 50 overs to finish in a solid position. Djali Bloomfield was the most prolific of the bowlers, taking 3-41 from ten overs.
In the post-match presentations, Weston Creek Captain John Rogers commented how surprised he was at how the run chase unfolded, believing Queanbeyan’s score to be a sizable goal. With a formidable total ahead of them, Weston Creek’s openers started the chase with a steely resolve and clear intent. Robbie Trickett was the first wicket to fall, but only after knocking 73 (77), combining for an opening partnership of 160 with Joshua Myburgh to seriously dent Queanbeyan’s hopes.
Myburgh eventually fell just short of a grand final century, as he was caught on 94 off the bowling of Dean Solway. With wickets in hand and runs on the board, Sam Taylor was not looking to wait around. Coming out firing, he hit four sixes and two boundaries in an explosive innings of 55 (32) before dismissal via a stunning catch by Stuart Bridgen. Number four Josh Low-McMahon was also seemingly keen to get the celebrations underway, as he hit the remaining runs to claim victory for Weston Creek with 12.2 overs to spare.
Queanbeyan captain Mark Solway was feeling a sense of deja-vu after being felled by Weston Creek for the second year in a row but was admirable in defeat, commending the Creek team on their performance.
Despite the loss, Queanbeyan has a lot to take from the weekend. They fielded teams in each grade’s grand final, with their third grade side claiming a win against Western District. Bowling first, they were able to restrict Wests to 145, claiming ten scalps in 36 overs. In a familiar tale, it was a Solway claiming valuable wickets, with Peter Solway removing two dangermen just short of their 50s, running out Keishav Muralietharan on 46 and catching Kurt Johnstone on 47 off his bowling.
ACT Meteor Zoe Cooke’s bowling lead a fightback for Wests, taking 3-31 in an invaluable bowling spell that included the wicket of top-scorer David Horsfall (53). However, with a small total to defend it was always going to be difficult, as Queanbeyan’s middle-order backed up Horsfall’s positive start with a pair of 22s from Michael O’Rourke and Matthew Rebus, with the latter finishing not out as Queanbeyan reached victory after 31 overs.
In second grade it was Queanbeyan who won the toss and batted first against Western District. Luke Jorgensen had Queanbeyan on the ropes early, taking the second and third wickets in quick succession and finishing on an impressively economical 2/11 from eight overs. Vishav Thakur was the pick of the batters, with a gutsy 49* to help Queanbeyan reach 151 all out.
West’s openers compiled a quick partnership of 41 to give their innings a quality start, with Alexander Corver falling first on 26 (23). Number three Lachlan Murchie raced to 47 before he was caught out off Cameron Edgar, followed quickly by the wicket of opener Pete McKell who had added 16. With wickets in hand, Jordan Smith and Labib Mahmud quickly provided the remaining runs, Smith finishing unbeaten on 38* to record victory for Western District.
At Kaleen, it was a tight affair throughout, as Queanbeyan batted first in the fourth-grade final against Western District. Compiling 207, number five Micah Manners was Queanbeyan’s best run-scorer, finishing the 40 overs on 68* with a number eight cameo of 27 (18) from Matt Paton helping climb the total above 200. David Cheffers was the pick of the bowlers, taking 3/29 from 8 overs, including the wickets of the two openers for a combined seven runs.
West’s opener Syed Jaffrey (39) and Liam McMurtrie (72) provided the bulk of the runs in the chase, but consistent wicket-taking kept Queanbeyan in the game until the late stages. In the end, it was Daniel Cottam (36*) and Lewis Robertson (12*) who got Wests over the line with one over to spare.