Tom goes from first-ball duck to top scorer
DARWIN opener Tom Briggs was shattered after making a first-ball duck in his team’s convincing Premier Grade semi-final win over PINT last weekend.
Yesterday, that was long forgotten and he could not contain his delight after making a big contribution in the final against Palmerston at Marrara.
The diminutive opener made a powerful 62 not out from 69 balls to ensure the two-day decider would finish after just one afternoon of play.
“He was a bit disappointed getting a first-baller last week
After Shelton’s heroics with the ball, there were more fireworks to come, with Darwin opener Tom Briggs smashing an unbeaten 62 off 69 balls to see his team run down its modest target in just the 25th over. and was down on it and I pumped him up and said ‘mate, go out there and play your game and it’ll come off’,” Eagles captain Luke Shelton said.
“And he showed everyone he’s a classy player. Briggsy loves the club more than anyone and he loves to be a part of the big games like this.”
Briggs’ love for his junior club was evident after he brought up his half-century and pumped his fist in the direction of his teammates’ dressing room.
“It means a lot. I’ve been at the club since I was eight years old. I’ve never changed clubs and I never would,” he said.
Josh Doyle also hit a classy 44 off 59 balls and when he brought up first-innings victory just before stumps, before top edging a Kieran Toner delivery to point, both captains agreed to call it a day early.
“I want to be a leader and you want your leaders to stand up in the big games.”
Briggs set the tone early in his innings with an enormous pull shot off 2017 Premier Grade leading wicket-taker Kurt Johnston, which sailed over the deep backward square boundary for six.
It was his first of four maximums in a memorable innings.
“You’re looking to be positive. I play square quite well, so anything in my zone I back myself to play the cut or pull shot,” he said.
“The mindset was to be aggressive.”
As well as bouncing back from last weekend’s first-bal-
Bleakley – so passionate about his club – was moved to tears after the game.
“I’ve lost a couple of premierships with Palmerston now, and I don’t ever want to lose another one,” he said. ler, Briggs came back a better cricketer after starting this year in B-grade.
“Sometimes you get knocked over early and you can doubt your ability,” he said.
“It’s just about believing in yourself and once you get in that you can make a big score.”
The desire to remain the best team in the Top End continues to drive Briggs.
He is seen as a crucial senior leader, as well as Shelton, Luke Zanchetta, Ash Doolan, Matt Bell and Sohan Borralessa, with those five playing in all three successive longformat winning grand final sides.
“But it’s a game of cricket and life goes on.
“It’s fantastic to see us being competitive again (after finishing last in 2016). If we can keep the same squad together I think we’ll be stronger and better.”