Poidevin-Gray Final HISTORY MADE: Randwick Petersham vs Parramatta

RPC 189 (Mitchell 54 Weymouth 46) def. Parramatta 144 (O’Riordan 3/20)

We did it! We won the Poidevin-Gray under 21 years competition for the first time in our 22 seasons. Defeating Parramatta at Old Kings Oval on Sunday 5th March, 189 runs to 144, gave us the title. It was also our first time in a Grand Final in this competition. The best we had finished was 4th in 2004-05. Last season we ran second last.

In bright sunny conditions on the picturesque oval, skipper Ben Mitchell called correctly at the toss and batted as he had done on four previous occasions during the competition. And the openers Blake Weymouth and Zac Keough didn’t disappoint, putting on 77 for the first wicket–the best start all season. Zac was first to go for 36 off 62 balls while Blake made 46 off 103 when he was bowled with the score 2-96.

Mitchell was next in, but the spinners began to make inroads and when Tim Tector went for 7 at 3-104, it triggered a steady fall of wickets. Apart from Max Robinson who hit an entertaining 15 off 15, the skipper was the only one holding the innings together. He was second last out for an extremely valuable 54 off 67 balls with just one four and a six. Deep-set fields on the sizeable ground stopped many boundaries while reducing 2s off the bat to singles. It was smart fielding. And while 189 did not appear a huge total, on such a large ground it was worth probably another 20 or so.

In the run-chase, the Eels smashed 24 off just 4 overs before Mitchell gained the breakthrough with a rap on the pads. A double bowling change saw Tim Tector and Shivansh Pathak take a wicket in their first over for a 3-35 scoreline. But at 46, the cheers of the Randy Petes’ supporters could be heard at Coogee Oval as three wickets amazingly fell on that score to Pathak and Connor O’Riordan (two).

It looked all over at 6-46 but cricket has a way of continually teaching that “it ain’t over ‘til it’s over” as nos. 7 and 8 at the crease dug in. It wasn’t until 77 runs later in the 41st over that a catch was popped up for a much-relieved wicket. A run-out followed and when the final wicket was taken on 144, the premiership was ours.

Ben Mitchell was named at the subsequent trophy presentation as the Man of the Match. His 54 runs took him to 373 for the competition–a new club record surpassing the previous record of 367. Connor O’Riordan with 23, was the leading wicket-taker in the competition and is the new club record holder. With 373 runs and 15 wickets, Ben Mitchell is a leading contender for the annual Cricket NSW Player of the Tournament Award.

With a 1st Grade premiership in the Belvidere Cup, Limited Overs and Twenty20 competitions over the past three years, this season’s P-Gs win gives the club four premierships in four years–an imposing record. What a historic day for Randwick Petersham Cricket! It’s great to be a part of it.