Quorn win back-to-back premierships

CHAMPIONS: Quorn are the 2017/18 Port Augusta Cricket Association A Grade premiers after defeating Central/Stirling in the decider.
CHAMPIONS: Quorn are the 2017/18 Port Augusta Cricket Association A Grade premiers after defeating Central/Stirling in the decider.

Quorn claimed their second consecutive premiership with a stunning performance over Central/Stirling in the Grand Final.

Their 59-run win came about after a superb team bowling effort to follow their 171 with the bat. Central/Stirling were no match for a Quorn side that was simply too good on the day.

Quorn won the toss and chose to bat with captain Alex Hosking and Liam Bury opening the batting. The pair saw off the first four overs of the new ball, but Roby McDonald broke through thanks to a fantastic diving catch from wicket-keeper Jake McDonald.

This wicket sparked the Tigers but Scott Williams, who replaced Bury at the crease, quickly put it out. He and Hosking put together an excellent stand and pounced on anything short or wide.

The partnership was finally broken in the 17th over when Hosking, who had fought his way to 46, top-edged one straight in the air and was caught by Jake McDonald.

The game was in the balance at drinks with Quorn 3/80 off 20 overs and just upon the resumption, Central/Stirling struck another blow with Tom Finlay run out from a brilliant throw by Brendon Davis.

But Corey Finlay joined Williams at the crease and the two knuckled down to put Quorn back on top. They were going along slowly, but were difficult to dismiss until Orson Poole bowled Williams for 39.

However, Corey Finlay kept powering along on his way to 25 until both he and Karl Finlay fell to Davis. The tail end of the batting line-up saw out the rest of the 50 overs to finish 10/171.

Unfortunately for Central/Stirling, none of their top-order batsmen got going to keep them in the game. Opener Sean Kuerschner only lasted five balls before Rob Britza caught a lofted drive over backward point.

This was the important wicket for Quorn, as Kuerschner was the one who could lower the required run rate and make serious inroads into the target.

Quorn’s quality bowling attack was being backed up in the field and making it very difficult for the Tigers’ batsmen to score.

The biggest game changer came when Cameron Edson and Drew McDonald were both dismissed for one and two respectively.

Seb Goldsmith soon became Max Clarke’s second victim, but Roby and Jake McDonald came together to provide some respectability to the score.

They put on 22 before Roby was caught in the slip off Liam Bury, causing a domino effect among the middle order with Jake McDonald, Davis and Poole all falling in quick succession.

Toby Baxter provided some resistance by giving everything in the closing overs of the season. His 40-not-out made him the only batsman to score over 13, but it was not nearly enough as the Tigers were finished off for 115.

Liam Bury’s effort of 4/23 cemented him as the player of the match for the second Grand Final in a row.

After finishing top and earning direct entry into the Grand Final, Central/Stirling couldn’t finish the job and still remain without a premiership for 18 years.

After starting the season without a win in the first five matches, Quorn went on to win their last eight matches – excluding a washed-out game in round 12 – to claim back-to-back premierships.