Karkoo/Yeelanna end 20-year premiership drought

KARKOO/YEELANA ended a 20-year premiership drought, winning the Great Flinders cricket grand final against Kapinnie/Mount Hope at Cummins on Saturday.

Karkoo/Yeelanna went in looking for their first premiership as a merged club, having not tasted success since Karkoo's 1996/97 win.

Captain Casey Carr won the toss and elected to bat. The Eagles were keen to get off to a good start but their ever reliable opener Xavier Watson was gone caught down leg side in the first over.

This brought Ben Carr to the crease with Bryce Breed, and they knuckled down and started to build a solid foundation.

Breed was playing hard at most balls and was dropped at mid wicket early on before starting to make Kapinnie pay. He was dropped again and relished the chances to go on and make 40 in typically aggressive fashion.

He was caught by a brilliant one-handed catch by the youngster Ryan Hazelgrove. 

Ben Carr played a solid knock for Karkoo/Yeelanna, displaying a great deal of patience mixed with some powerful hitting at times. By the time he fell to a direct hit run out from Lochie Paech, Karkoo were in a commanding position at 3/112.

Stephen Crettenden fell to Corey Paech's spin for one but Casey Carr and Adam Murnane consolidated.

GRAND FINAL WIN: Casey Carr with brother Ben Carr hold the premiership shield.

GRAND FINAL WIN: Casey Carr with brother Ben Carr hold the premiership shield.

Carr showed some powerful hitting to finish with 56 not out, while Murnane played a perfect foil, turning over the strike and finishing with 20 not out.

After their 45 overs they built a solid score of 4/192. Corey Paech finished with 2/29 and Jake Mahoney 1/32.

The Kapinnie/Mt Hope boys had spent a long, hot 45 overs in the field and sent premier batsmen Brad Hazelgrove and Joel Paech to the crease, hoping they could make a dent in the run chase. 

Opening bowlers Breed and Watson could not find the elusive first wicket. Watson appeared to have Hazelgrove caught in slips but he had overstepped the line giving Hazelgrove a second chance. 

Karkoo/Yeelanna knew they had to keep chipping away, and Casey Carr's inswingers from the northern end was the answer. He bowled Joel Paech and soon after claimed brother Lochie to have the Eagles up and about. 

Adam Green joined Hazelgrove at 2/53 and was looking comfortable at drinks, needing a further 140 from 20 overs.

In the 30th over, skipper Casey Carr struck again as Green was caught to a diving catch from Leigh Turner, who heaved it into the air in a wild display of jubilation, much to the delight of the Eagles supporters. 

The score was 3/89 and Kapinnie needed some heavy hitting to win but with Hazelgrove still at the crease, no one was writing them off. 

Corey Paech was next in and tried to up the run rate, and although not hitting any boundaries he showed he was looking to score quickly. 

Jack Crettenden came on to bowl next and landed a heavy blow in his third over, bowling Hazelgrove for 72 after a gallant knock as the pressure of an increasing run rate requirement proved too much. 

Kapinnie fell 37 runs short of Karkoo/Yeelanna, who thouroughly deserved to take the 2016/17 title as undefeated premiers.

Best with the ball for the Eagles were Bryce Breed 4/28, Casey Carr 3/21 and Jack Crettenden 2/21.

League president Greg Fuller presented the shield and trophies and thanked long serving secretary Tim Richardson for his contribution. It  was a fitting finale to a great season, which also saw the association win the Henderson Shield title along the way.