On Sunday Kensington took on Sturt in the Ray Sutton Shield grand final. Both teams were undefeated after the minor round matches and were greeted by a hot day at SACA’s Railways Oval.
Kensington skipper Sam Warrick did the right thing, winning the toss and electing to bat first. Charlie McKay made a statement with a four from the first ball of the game but after another nice drive to the fence was dismissed shortly after for 9. Sturt’s opening bowlers were displaying good pace and accuracy and it was slow going early on. We lost another wicket and were 2/29 after 12 overs.
Opener Hamish Towers was joined by Noah Leydon and the pair slowly worked their way into what would turn out to be an important partnership. The first 7 overs together yielded only 19 runs but they played themselves in and got through Sturt’s pace attack. Once settled they began to strike the ball well and started to pinch quick singles at will. They peeled off 50 runs in the next 8 overs as the Browns took control of the game.
Noah was eventually out for an excellent 39 and enjoyed a 71 run partnership with Hamish. The stage was now set for big-hitting Sam Warrick to cash in on their hard work. Sam got off the mark with a single then went 6-1-4-4-4 as the innings exploded. A huge six down the ground was a highlight, as was another 4-4-4 patch as fielders were being spread far and wide. Sam finished with 54 runs from just 28 balls.
Hamish had played the anchor role, batting almost the whole way through the innings and giving the strike to his batting partners. He was out in the 39th over for 36, an excellent effort in the hot conditions. Frank Packer whacked a couple of boundaries in the final over and we finished with 6/179 from our 40 overs.
Sturt started with a bang and were flying along at a run a ball however we managed to pick up two important early wickets to Seb McVann and Sam Warrick. The runs continued to flow though and Sturt had reached 2/75 from just 15 overs when our spinners turned the game back our way. Archie Walters induced a false shot with a well-flighted leg break which was well held by Jasper Thomas at mid off. In Archie’s next over Jack Harding took a sharp catch at mid wicket. Offie Max Cunningham struck next, Sam Warrick taking a diving catch at cover. Sturt were 5/92 and the Browns were on top.
With two new batters at the crease we were able to dry up the runs and lift the required run rate. Jasper Thomas bowled a tidy spell and was rewarded with a wicket – 6/116. Sturt needed 64 from the final 11 overs. Frank Packer, Seb McVann and Ishaan Oak all chipped in with tight overs and we finished with quicks Jack Harding and Sam Warrick bowling the final few overs in tandem.
Sturt were still in with a chance though, needing 33 runs off 5 overs. Jack Harding dropped one short and it was pulled hard and high out to the square leg boundary. Charlie McKay was looking into the sun and only inches inside the boundary line but held onto a great catch.
From there Sam and Jack finished off the final stages with Sturt’s task getting tougher each over. We ended up winning the game by 7 runs. It was a terrific contest that went the distance and it was a fairly exhausted team that walked off the ground afterwards. The players held it together in hot conditions, with particular mention to wicket keeper Charlie Bear who was sick all weekend but toughed it out.
Well done to all players who took part in the competition. Thank you to all parents who helped with scoring, afternoon teas, drinks and supporting the team throughout the 6 weeks.
Team – Sam Warrick and Charlie Bear (co-captains), Max Cunningham, Jack Harding, Max Kelly, Noah Leydon, Charlie McKay, Seb McVann, Ishaan Oak, Frank Packer, Jasper Thomas, Hamish Towers and Archie Walters