Rags to riches: Heads on top

That winning feeling: Barwon Heads BPCA A1 Grade premiers. (pictures Justin Flynn) 395963_15

By Justin Flynn

Barwon Heads has gone from A1 Grade demotion, to A2 Grade premiers and now A1 Grade premiers within three seasons to complete a rags to riches story in the Bellarine Peninsula Cricket Association.

The Seagulls defeated perennial powerhouse Anglesea in a pulsating final at Jan Juc to halt the Seas’ quest for a fifth consecutive flag.

Max and Harry Melzer got the Heads off to another solid start, putting on 51 while Brent McMinn upped the ante with 41 from 50 balls including an enormous six behind point.

Daniel Donaldson played the sheet anchor role and would end on 48 from 140 while Ben Harris chipped in with 23 including a mammoth six over mid-wicket.

Late contributions from Dracy Hewitt (23) and Harry Hyland (10 not out) got the score up to 227 all out and the Heads were favourites going into day two.

Anglesea skipper Dylan Taylor bowled superbly, taking 4/57 while Ben Harcombe’s nagging line and length netted him 3/9 from 10 immaculate overs.

Hewitt struck twice early on day two, but left-hander Tyron Norman was looking ominous, timing the ball beautifully.

Joined by Brett Venables, the pair looked untroubled in adding 42 for the third wicket, but Venables fell for 19.

Meanwhile Norman brought up his half-century, but was caught on the boundary off Sam Schaller for a well-made 54.

Will Huby played nicely for 38, but wickets and overs were running out for Anglesea.

Spin duo Schaller and Dan Donaldson were proving difficult to score against.

Eventually the end came with Anglesea all out for 166 and the celebrations began.

Left-arm finger spinner Schaller picked up the player of the match award with 5/48 from 22.3 overs while leg-spinner Donaldson took 3/52 from 25.

DRYSDALE will play in A1 Grade next season after defeating Collendina in the A2 Grade final at St Leonards.

Collendina would have been disappointed with its score of 177 all out despite a top knock from Ben Ricardo (56) and contributions from Stan Grazotis (36) and Aidan Foard (35).

However it was veteran left-armer David Sykes who stepped up for the Hawks to take 4/43 and Blake Dobbin again found himself among the wickets with 3/39.

With a couple of overs to face before stumps on day one, Robert Cutajar elevated himself to the top of the list to ease the burden on regular opener Andrew Spengler and it paid off handsomely. The left-hander made a stunning unbeaten 92 from 149 deliveries. Cutajar is familiar with Len Trewin Reserve at St Leonards having played more than 250 games with the Saints.

Charlie Clode made 35 and Lochie Wilson 30 to get the Hawks home by eight wickets.