Cool blustery conditions greeted players and spectators to Tumby Bay Town Oval for the 2019/20 junior cricket grand final.
Lipson and Rovers had previously clashed five times throughout the season with Lipson having the slight upper hand with a three/two advantage, most recently though with a comprehensive victory in the second semi-final.
Rovers won the toss and elected to bowl, opening up with B. Higgins and O. Richardson against the crucial top order batsman in E. Pugsley and the in-form B. Stratford.
Both batsmen started well, comfortably rotating the strike with fine running between the wickets and crisp shot selection.
Stratford in particular was striking the ball well, whilst the introduction of H. Franks into the bowling attack failed to bring the valuable breakthrough Rovers were after.
Stratford retired at a near run a ball 26 while Pugsley rode his luck giving a few chances the Rovers boys failed to take.
He retired shortly afterwards also, having helped set the foundation for a competitive score.
Rovers fought back from this point however, C. Richardson sparking the revival with a direct hit run out leaving Lipson skipper C. Calderwood just short of his ground.
T. Higgins swapped his keeping gloves for the cherry, having immediate success.
He removed both Franklin brothers LBW in a fine spell of 2/6 from his five overs.
H. Franks and E. Murphy also chipped in with a wicket each, but not before some good late order batting by W. Turner and W. Telfer who each helped push the final Lipson total 5/98 from their regulation 30 overs.
A very competitive score on the slow Tumby Oval, and as they say, the runs were on the board.
Calderwood and Stratford marked out their run ups in anticipation, whilst the left-handed Higgins brothers Brodie and Tyson, strode to the crease.
Both bowlers were frugal early, giving nothing away until Stratford got the big breakthrough trapping B. Higgins dead in front for only two.
Franks joined his mate at the crease, and they both crept along at a steady pace, with Higgins bringing up his retirement in the 19th over.
At this point Rovers were effectively 2/55 leaving the match evenly poised at the 20 over mark.
Lipson bowlers continued with their deadly accurate bowling, slowing the run rate and then eventually reaping the rewards with the vital dismissals of Franks for 20 who fell to a brilliant low-down outfield catch by Stratford, quickly followed by E. Murphy for 11.
Lipson's young bowlers in particular were super impressive.
R. Pugsley and W. Telfer bowled 10 overs between them for only 27 runs, with Pugsley chipping in with two important wickets.
Finally, with four wickets down and 23 needed of the final two overs it was fingers crossed as both K. McInerney and O. Richardson tried but were unable to find the boundary despite their best efforts.
Lipson closed out the 30 overs leaving Rovers an agonising eight runs short of victory.
Brilliant bowling by all the Lipson boys really made it hard for all Rover batsman, ultimately leaving themselves with too much to do in the final overs.
A much-deserved victory to the Lipson lads, very well coached by Ben 'Bowser' Pugsley with his team displaying genuine improvement throughout the season.
Man of the Match had to go to Brody Stratford for his chanceless knock of 26 no, bowling figures of 1/7 from his five overs and one of the best outfield catches you will see from a junior cricketer.
All in all, a successful season of junior cricket topped off with a gripping, quality grand final and a deserved premiership winner.
Big thanks to the umpires for the day in Richard Hennell and Shane Masson as well as major sponsor Bendigo Bank and their rep Grantley Telfer who was on hand to award the competitions trophy winners for the season.