Cricketing heaven, and heartbreak

After close geographical rivals Yorke Peninsula and Northern won their three opening games in last week’s 2019 SACA Senior Country Cricket Championships they faced off last Thursday  in the grand final at Karen Rolton Oval.

For the Yorke Peninsula side, which included Lower North cricketers, cousins Ryan and Jason McPharlin, quick Chris “Foggy” Marshall and left-arm spinner Jordan Taylor, the final prove to be “cricketing heaven”.

For the Northern side, which included, Pekina-Carrieton’s Brodie O’Dea and Spalding-Booborowie cricketer Zach Fielding it was the complete opposite, sporting heartbreak.

The contest had plenty of momentum swings and at different times both sides looked winners.

Yorke Peninsula batted first and was dismissed for 166 in the 45th over, with O’Dea collecting a pair of late order wickets and finished with the strong figure of 2/18 from five overs.

Northern’s run chase looked on target at 4/125 before a clump of wickets saw Yorke Peninsula take the upper hand.

At 9/143, Zach Fielding went in to bat with Northern needing 24 runs for victory.

Having made a double century in Northern Areas cricket this summer, Fielding batted strongly and brought his team within a single boundary of victory.

Unfortunately for the Northern side, Fielding’s partner attempted to hit a four to win the game and was caught at backwards square leg, sparking riotous celebrations by the York Peninsula players.

For the victors, bowler Marshall took 3/34 in the final and also grabbed 2/27 the previous day in an important victory over South East, which elevated the YP boys to the decider.

Cousins Ryan and Jason McPharlin prove to be match winners is in the critical round three game against South East which had more controversy, because of the state of the pitch.

The pair came together with the YP score at 5/30, chasing 14,9 and producing a match-winning century stand.

Ryan McPharlin made 58 in the win and Jason remained 44 not out.

O’Dea’s best performance with the bat was 43 on day one against Barossa and Light, after the previous day in Port Lincoln where he won a local T20 tournament with his brother Liam, for SES

At the country championship awards ceremony at Adelaide Oval on Thursday night, O’Dea collected the overall Country Cup fielding award for a third time.

His Outbacks team-mate, former Gilbert Valley cricketer Alex Hosking, was rewarded for his performance behind the stumps with the Arch Grosvenor Wicket Keeping Award.

The Northern team, which now includes the Northern Areas and the Stanley Association also collected the Spirit of Cricket award for the 2019 titles.