Year of the Dog
Monday, 11th March, 2019
By Tyler Hannigan
North completed a dream local cricket season on Saturday by winning both the A Grade and B Grade grand finals.
The A Grade side’s comprehensive 102-run thumping of Central at the Alma Oval capped off a dominant season in which the Bulldogs lost only one match and also took out the T20 cup.
This was North’s second consecutive Demo Club A Grade premiership and captain Tobias Hack said it was different to last season’s emotionally charged win that came just days after the passing of their coach.
“It’s obviously still great to win the grand final but last year was a bit more emotional with the passing of David Cutting,” Hack admitted after the game.
“But it’s a grand final nonetheless and the boys are ecstatic. We’re putting it down as another win for the big fella (Cutting).”
North’s players were also individually successful with Jordan Vella the A Grade leading wicket taker and Codie Howard the leading run scorer and overall champion player. Both were instrumental to Saturday’s win with Vella taking six wickets and Howard scoring 71.
“It’s hard to pick a man of the match (between Howard and Vella),” Hack said.
“Credit has to go to Jordan Vella, I reckon he changed the game today with his six wickets and he also scored 23 not out late in our innings.”
While North’s A Grade win was expected and clinical, their B Grade triumph was nothing short of miraculous.
Heading into round 15 of the season, the Bulldogs sat last on the ladder and needed an unlikely double-bonus point win over the Magpies to make the finals. That boiled down to a run chase of 122 runs inside 15 overs which they accomplished with two wickets in hand and no balls to spare.
That result put them into third spot and into a match with second-placed West for a place in the grand final.
Again North’s season looked gone as they allowed the West tail to get away and post a competitive 162 in the semi-final but another spirited chase saw them haul in the total with two wickets and four balls remaining to book a place in the Credit Union B Grade grand final against the undefeated Warriors.
The final was a see-sawing affair as both sides held sway at different times. The Warriors slumped to 9-73 before a 53-run last wicket partnership kept their hopes alive. Chasing 127 to win, North were going easy at 0-71 before a collapse of 6-7 saw them struggling at 6-78.
The match turned once more as Jackson Schorn and Dylan Millsteed ticked off the remaining runs with eight balls to spare and claim one of the most remarkable premiership wins in recent memory by four wickets.
With A Grade, B Grade and T20 titles, North have established themselves as the benchmark club of Broken Hill cricket.