U/16 Blue Grand Final Match Report

Scoop reports:

Cheltenham Blue 9 def Frankston Tomatoes 8

 

In challenging blustery and rainy conditions, the two best teams in the U16 competition went head-to-head again in a great GF on Farm Rd diamond 2. Given an unrestricted view of the game due to the inspired removal of the superfluous chickenwire across the front of the scorer’s box, Scoop is able to report that the Good Guys emerged victorious this year after going down to the same crew in last year’s decider by a 1-run margin. Keeping the margin the same, we reversed the result, fittingly, as the Rustlers were the better team on the day.

 

As the nominal ‘away’ team, Chelt batted first and with two runners on, a sweet Shelby Roberts bomb to left field opened up the game account with a 3-run 1st dig. That joy was short-lived, however, as the Tomatoes managed to plate two runs with Shelby finding it hard to throw what the plate umpire liked to call, walks putting runners on and a passed ball bringing two of them in. A Chelt highlight was a running-backwards catch to H at second.

 

Zero-spots in the 2nd preceded a very eventful 3rd innings where Chelt hung two more runs courtesy of hits to Chris ‘Neilo’ Neilsen, Mack ‘Mack’ Turley and Shelby only to be followed by a 4-run dig to the Tomatoes, 3 of them unearned. At one out, coach O’Neill felt Shelby had had enough and brought in his pocket destroyer Orange Josh Ashen who retired the Tomatoes. 6-5 to the troops from Frank’s Town, top o’ the 3rd.

 

A single to Josh who then scored the run on a subsequent wild throw meant scores were tied up going into the bottom of the 4th. The teams again hung zeroes in the 5th – though this reporter won’t say the ump did not get the best view of Shelby’s go-ahead run coming under the catcher’s tag, because said umpire called it out. After the Frankstonians were retired again by an in-the-zone Josh, regulation time finished with the scores tied at 6-6.

 

Extra innings! Pressure well and truly on!

 

Top 6th, Josh gets on with a single to Right, followed by two telling walks to load the bases – cometh the hour, cometh the man, and Mackenzie Turley steps up and strokes a bases-clearing double to centrefield: 9-6 Rustlers!

 

Equation now simple – keep the Tomayters to 2 or less. Huge wraps on Josh Ashen who proceeded to keep an ice-cool head as Frankston managed to get one home, then with two out and runners on 3rd and 1st, a bloop hit gets under H’s glove – 1 run scores – only to be swooped on eagle-like by Shelby who gunned the ball to Chris at 3rd hosing the Tomato runner trying for the extra base.

 

Chelt win!!

 

And it was a well-earned win: at 10 hits to 3 and 8 earned runs to 1, Chelt clearly was the better team on the day and deserved the flag. Congrats to Frankston, the games with them this season have all been good ones.

 

Hits 10: Shelby 2 (3R-HR, single); Josh 2 (2 singles); Mack 2 (double, single); Chris Neilsen double, Ben Porter single, Hanami single, Sean Dunne single

 

Pitching: Shelby 2.1 inn, 6R (1earned), 5BB, 3K, 2H; Josh 3.2 inn, 3R (0 earned), 3BB, 7K, 1H