Easts have snatched the Armidale District Cricket two-day title back from Hillgrove with a dominant opening day of the grand final.
Tyson Burey was at his lethal best right from the start, jagging the opening wicket of the game – Hillgrove’s Bentley Cropper for a duck – in his first over.
Tyson Burey gets the opening wicket in the second over of the grand final— Ellen Dunger (@ellen_159) March 24, 2018
Burey then claimed Josh Croft’s wicket for five, Hillgrove captain Matt Schaefer for zilch and then Brad King for nought to have the reigning premiers in serious trouble at 4-13.
Will Archer dug in for a promising start with the bat before he departed on 15, courtesy of Todd Francis.
Easts captain Sam Uphill trapped Andrew Brownlie lbw for eight.
Francis then collected the wickets of Will Waterson (7) and Matt Baillie (9).
Dick Heagney fought until the finish with a four and a six in his standout 30-run stand towards the end of Hillgrove’s innings before Francis sent him back to the sheds.
Burey had the final say in Hillgrove’s innings as he snagged his fifth wicket – Sean Skinner for two – to dismiss their side for a lowly 92.
With half an hour left in the day’s play, Hillgrove were hoping to bag an early wicket to keep in contention.
Openers Dean Moore and Cody Graham launched out of the starting blocks for Easts and Hillgrove didn’t manage a wicket until Schaefer claimed Graham on 16.
Easts finished the day at 1-24 with Moore and Matt Jackson at the crease.
Day two saw Skinner land Jackson’s wicket for a duck which brought Clarrie Moran to the crease.
The eventual champions didn’t lost another wicket until Moore left on 41 off Archer’s bowling.
Moran finished with 36 after Laurie cleaned up the stumps while Francis added 34 not out as Easts leapt to 5-140 and claim the victory and the title.
Uphill lauded Burey’s performance with the ball and said it set the tone for Easts to nab the win.
“Tyson Burey bowled beautifully, he bowled very well in that first spell, he jagged their first four batsmen and it allowed us to lay that platform,” he said.
“Dick Heagney batted well there at the end.
“Toddy bowled well as well, he took four-fa.”
The first grade side’s triumph rounded out a successful weekend for Easts Cricket Club with their second grade team beating The Armidale School in the final.