Bulls win with last two balls

Cricket sea­son is back, with Grace­mere and Frenchville locking horns in a thrilling Round 1 game at the RGC

The Morning Bulletin - - SPORT - Matty Holdsworth matty.holdsworth@cap­news.com.au

A Steven Mun­chow slogfest in­spired Grace­mere to an in­cred­i­ble win in the fi­nal over against Frenchville.

It was a game The Bulls had lit­tle right to win.

Set 206, it­self a tricky task, made even more so when the um­pires de­ducted four overs due to slow over rates, Grace­mere were star­ing at a Round 1 de­feat.

Skip­per Mark O’Ke­effe knew for his side to pre­vail, keep­ing wick­ets in hand was more im­por­tant than quick runs at the start.

He set about with those tac­tics in mind, pro­duc­ing a fine part­ner­ship with all-rounder Justin Pea­cock (45).

Yet while wick­ets were in hand, the overs were creep­ing down at a rapid pace, Frenchville were keep­ing it tight.

En­ter Steven Mun­chow. “It got to the point where the run rate was nine an over with about eight left, and yeah, it was get­ting a lit­tle out of reach,” O’Ke­effe, who him­self hit 41, said.

“That is when Mun­chow (38 off 32) and Ben Milne came to­gether. They re­ally upped the ante and got it down to six an over.

“We ended up knock­ing them over with just two balls to spare.

“We were qui­etly con­fi­dent only due to the fast field. We knew from watch­ing that if any­thing made it past the out­field it would be a bound­ary.

“I wasn’t too wor­ried about the tar­get, just keep­ing the wick­ets in hand.”

Frenchville new­comer and for­mer Glad­stone player Ja­son Seng proved a hand­ful for Grace­mere.

The Queens­land Coun­try player hit a won­der­ful 87 and chipped in with 2-29 with the cherry.

O’Ke­effe said the win was made ex­tra special against such a wor­thy op­po­nent.

“We were down a cou­ple of play­ers from our grand fi­nal team, Aaron Harmsworth and Rion Banks are out,” he said.

“Frenchville put out a re­ally strong team full of qual­ity play­ers.

“Ja­son Seng bat­ted re­ally well through the mid­dle and into the lower or­der. He was their best for sure.

“I thought Justin Pea­cock bowled re­ally well without luck. And Bryce Heal was ex­cel­lent.”

In Round two, Grace­mere face Cap Coast Parkana while Rock­hamp­ton Broth­ers host Frenchville.

PHOTO: CHRIS ISON ROK160917CCRICKET3

Grace­mere keeper Mark O'Ke­effe makes a spir­ited ap­peal against Frenchville.

PHOTO: CHRIS ISON ROK160917CCRICKET2

Frenchville bat­ter Ja­son Seng sends one to the bound­ary on route to 87.

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