By Lance Jenkinson
It was not supposed to end this way for Point Cook.
The Warriors had been so good all season in the Victorian Turf Cricket Association division 3, but they could not get going in the semi final.
A heartbreaking one-wicket loss to Williamstown Imperials at Saltwater Reserve over the weekend will haunt the Warriors all off-season.
Point Cook had the worst of the conditions to bat. The Warriors were not immune to the low scores that plagued batting teams on Saturday following a wet lead-in that affected pitch conditions.
A Warriors side with the most potent batting line up in the competition was kept to just 93.
It was a snail’s paced batting effort too, going at 1.82 runs per over in the 51 overs they batted. The Warriors could never get out of first gear. From the outset, it was ugly for Point Cook. At 4-14, the outlook was bleak.
Wicketkeeper-batsman James Peterson (16) and middle order man Brett Talbot (10) tried to find a spark for the Warriors, but they could not go on with it.
When Warriors playing coach Aaron Whear (18) and Owen Doolan (23 not out) entered the crease at 8-43, their side needed a miracle.
A 34-run ninth wicket stand offered slight hope. When Whear was dismissed, Doolan kept up the fight with No. 11 Wade Kirkwood (eight), producing a 20-run partnership.
The Warriors’ score of 93 looked well off the mark, but with the benefit of hindsight, it was so close to being a match-winning total.
Even with a small total to defend, Point Cook never threw in the towel.
The Warriors scrapped it out all the way to make a serious game of it. Gurbaksh Khaira was extraordinary with the ball for Point Cook, taking 5-33 off 26.3 overs.
Owen Doolan was nigh on unplayable with 2-2 off nine overs, while Harvinder Singh snared 2-30 off 17.
A near faultless display from the Point Cook bowlers – free of wides and no balls – was still not enough when defending a tiny total. It took Williamstown Imperials until the last pair standing, but they got it done and ended Point Cook’s season in the process.
In CV Women’s Community Cricket, Hoppers Crossing bowed out of the north west B one day finals after a 95-run semi final loss to Melton Centrals at Blackwood Drive Reserve last Sunday.
The Cats were undisciplined with the ball, producing 46 extras, including 14 no balls and 24 wides as Centrals coasted to 5-161 off 34 overs.
Hoppers Crossing’s only shining light in the run chase was Taylah Steadman. Steadman scored an unbeaten 42 of the Cats total of 66.