Cooma under 14s cricket team have taken out the division 2 ACT Cricket title defeating Norths/Daramalan in the grand final at Conder on Sunday.
Norths won the toss and elected to bat on a very cold and windy morning in Canberra.
Cooma had a full contingent of 14 players ready to play to enable as much participation as possible for the all important last game of the season.
Damo Hayden and Charlie Allen opened the bowling. Both bowled tightly but without any success due to some strong batting from the Norths.
Hughie Allen and Dan Swain were the first change bowlers and also found the windy conditions and good batting difficult to deal with. Combined with some lack lustre fielding Norths started building a good total.
Charlie Allen introduced his two leg-spinners, Andrew Devereux and Andrew Bartell, into the attack to try and break the partnership. Both struggled to find a consistent length due to the windy conditions and with a missed stumping from Devereux's bowling. Norths were 0-80 from 22 overs. Matthew Robinson and Matt Swain bowled out the remaining overs in the first quarter to have Norths at 0-99 at the break.
The reliable pair of Hughie Allen and Damo Hayden opened the batting for Cooma. With the side heavily reliant on this pair in recent weeks it was crucial that they again got off to a good start.
They both batted very sensibly and with score at 36, Hughie received a quick delivery to remove his stumps.
Andrew Devereux joined Hayden at the crease and with patient batting pushed the score up to 63 before Devereux was out caught at mid wicket.
Charlie Allen was next at the crease, but didn't last long and was given out LBW for 3.
Damo Hayden, who had batted extremely well, was caught out on 38 to leave Cooma at 3-85.
Andrew Bartell and James Russell kept their wickets intact to see Cooma at 4-89 at the halfway point in their innings.
After lunch and advice from the coaches, the boys were keen to capture early wickets.
The Allen brothers, Charlie and Hughie, both bowled with good pace with Charlie picking up two wickets off his last two balls to be on a hat-trick in his next over.
Both wickets were caught by Andrew Bartell in the gully. For the hat-trick ball Charlie had set a ring field and with another good ball, the Norths batsman hit it straight at the Cooma fielders but unfortunately the catch didn't stick.
Charlie collected another wicket to finish with 3-16 from 8 overs. Hughie Allen and Dan Swain were the workhorses into the wind and combined with Matthew Robinson bowling well with the wind had Norths at 6-141 after 38 overs.
Charlie Allen swapped the leg-spinners after lunch with Devereux bowling into the breeze to claim the last three wickets required to have Norths bowled out for 157. Wickets were taken by C.Allen (3), M.Robinson (3), A.Devereux (3) and D.Swain (1).
This was a good effort by the bowlers after lunch, with Cooma requiring 69 runs to win from 25 overs with six wickets in hand.
Andrew Bartell and James Russell resumed their innings with Bartell playing the steady role and Russell the swashbuckling role they pushed the score up to 112, before Andrew was run out for a well compiled 13.
James Russell soon followed him as his luck run out and was cleaned bowled for 7.
Matthew Chelin joined Matthew Robbo at the crease. Robbo played the anchor end whislt Matthew Chelin was hitting the ball cleanly and straighter than previous weeks.
They put Cooma within 11 runs of victory.
Chelin was bowled for an excellent 22 runs, which left three wickets to get the required runs. With Robbo in control, Pat Connolly put the score to within four runs until he was cleaned bowled. Aaron Pottage, after taking a terrific catch in the field went in feeling confident, however was also cleaned bowled for a duck. As the parents and team members started to feel the tension, Matt Swain and Matthew Robbo remained calm and reached the required runs to give Cooma a well earned victory to claim the U14 Div 2 title. It was a wonderful effort by all the team with special mention to the two youngest members, James Hayden and Archie Allen who contributed enormously to the win with good fielding and a positive attitude all day.
Mention also to Jake Hedger, Tim Sixt and Will Shingles who through injury and illness were unavailable for the grand final, but were a very important part of this team.