The Five Greatest Douglas Cup Finals – No.1 – 2005/06 – Back from the Death for Triple Treat Success

The 2005/06 season was a season which was dominated by four teams in the two day competition. North Canberra-Gungahlin were the Minor Premiers by a long way on the back of four outright victories at their home ground. Tuggeranong Valley finished second and had only lost one match in the two day competition. ANU finished third on the table just behind Tuggeranong while Weston Creek seemed strong on paper but finished fourth, winning a close match against Norths in the last round to make sure of their position in the semi finals.

The semi finals were a complete contrast, Weston Creek dominated their semi final against Norths while it was a close affair between Tuggeranong and ANU. Norths sent Weston Creek into bat in their semi final and despite having Creek 2 for 15 early, Creek had reached 5 for 313 by stumps on day one thanks to a 256 run partnership between Cade Brown and John Rogers. Creek finally declared their innings closed at 8 for 490 and had reduced Norths to 8 for 201 at stumps on Day 2. Creek picked up the final two wickets on Day 3 made their way to the Grand Final.

The ANU and Tuggeranong semi final was an entirely different affair. Batting first ANU were bowled out for 80 and reply at stumps Tuggeranong were 8 for 133 at stumps. On Day 2, Tuggeranong were bowled out for 146 and ANU were 8 for 233 at stumps. On Day 3, the ANU tail wagged with their second innings finishing at 265, leaving Tuggeranong 200 to win the match and progress to the Final. After being 3 for 39 early, Tuggeranong then struggled to 7 for 83 and the final seemed beyond them. Then Justin Haywood and Adam Ritchard combined for a 8th wicket partnership of 106 to bring the total to 189 and only 11 runs from victory with 2 wickets in hand. Both Haywood and Ritchard were dismissed on 189 wich left still 11 runs to win with just the single wicket in hand. Tuggeranong came within four of victory before Denver D’Cruz claimed Osborne lbw and they were through to the Final.

Both sides were at full strength for the Final with Creek having the strength in the batting while ANU were stronger in the bowling. ANU just need a first innings victory or a draw to claim their first Douglas Cup title since 1998/99 while Creek needed to win the match to claim the title. An added incentive was that if Creek won the title, they would be the first ACT side to win all three 1st Grade titles in the same season. They had beaten Eastlake in both the Twenty20 Cup and the Konica Limited Overs Cup earlier in the season.

ANU were a team in form, winning four of their last five matches in the Douglas Cup competition. Led by wicket-keeper Randall Starr who had a wealth of representative experience behind him and was in the form of his life. Their batting was led by Will Sheridan, the veteran Rob Regent and Jarrod Loughman. Their bowling attack was superb, led by the Victorian quick Emmett Bronca and Nathan Madsen. They also had quick Denver D’Cruz in support and the spin option of Daniel Pascoe who later went on to play first-class cricket for Oxford University.

Weston Creek’s depth was their batting. Led by the run machine Cade Brown and their veteran captain Sean Maxwell, they also had the youngster John Rogers and Wade Irvine supplemented by hard hitting opener Adam Rhynehart who had been bludgeoning attacks all season. Keeper Byron Field hit a century in the semi final and they had the all rounders in Dan Mowbray and Christian Hanna. The rest of the their attack centred around the young red headed quick Matty Bell and evergreen Luke Bulkeley. Their spinning option was the leg spinner Ryan Bulger who was their leading wicket taker for the season.

Winning the toss and sending ANU into bat, Creek hoped to exploit the conditions to try and dismiss ANU for a low score so their batting could dominate the match and try and finish the match early. The plan they hatched seemed to work with Dan Mowbray claiming the vital wicket of captain Randall Starr for just 4 in the second over of the match. By lunch Creek had taken five ANU wickets, including Sheridan for 15 and Regent for 13. It was the combination of Dan Mowbray and Christian Hanna who had taken two wickets each and reduced ANU to 5 for 64. After lunch the wicket had flattened out and the ANU batsmen started to regain control of the match. Jarrod Loughman and Achula Siriwardhane put on 116 for the sixth wicket and when Loughman was dismissed for 72, ANU were 6 for 180. The wily Christian Hanna had made the breakthrough and took another wicket 1 run later when he had Siriwardhane caught by captain Maxwell. Runs were vital as they always are in a final and the big quick Emmett Bronca assisted with this by making 36 off 57 balls late in the innings helping the side to a total of 226 with about an hours worth of play left in the day.

In fading light, the ANU bowlers were full fire and the strong Weston Creek side were reduced to 3 wickets for just 5 runs. Daniel Mowbay, John Rogers and Cade Brown were all dismissed for ducks and the strong batting side lost three wickets for 1 run. Field and Rhynehart steadied the ship until just before stumps, Field was judged lbw off Siriwardhane and Rhynehart was given out caught behind off Madsen. Both wickets fell with the score at 38 which remained the stumps score.

Behind the eight ball, Creek made a semi recovery with youngster Wade Irvine and nightwatchman Luke Bulkeley but Irvine fell caught behind with the score on 57 and Bulkeley out for a gallant 12 with the score on 61. At 7 for 61, the final looked all but gone for Creek and when Christian Hanna was dismissed for 23 off 42 balls, the score was 8 for 92 with only the captain Sean Maxwell and tail enders Ryan Bulger and Matthew Bell remaining. This is when the fightback started with Maxwell and Bulger showing more resolve than the entire top order combined. The pair took the total from 8 for 92 to 9 for 184. Bulger had made a career best 46 off 88 balls and the partnership doubled the Creek total. Maxwell and Bell combined for a 15 run last wicket partnership which proved to be vital before Maxwell was dismissed for 55 off a mammoth 148 balls. Weston Creek was dismissed for 199, just 27 runs behind ANU on the first innings.

All ANU had to do was to bat out the rest of the match and the title was theirs. By stumps despite the loss of an early wicket, ANU reached 4 for 92, leading by 119 runs with still six wickets in hand on what was becoming a very flat Manuka wicket. Veteran ANU batsman Rob Regent was the mainstay of their innings, holding the innings together while wickets fell at the other end and taking up valuable time. He and Jed Sawkins had taken the overnight score from 4 for 92 to 5 for 134 when Sawkins was caught by Rogers off Irvine. Loughman was dismissed 20 runs later also by the same combination of Rogers and Irvine, then Siriwardhane fell with the score on 169 and Creek was back in the hunt. Unfortunately for Creek, the ANU tail wagged and chewed up valuable time as well as scoring runs at the same time. Bronca followed up his first innings batting, scoring 23 off 34 balls while Regent held up the other end. Regent was finally dismissed with the score on 201. He had made 83 off 247 deliveries. The last wicket between D’Cruz and Madsen but on 21 valuable runs before Matty Bell finished off the innings by clean bowling D’Cruz. ANU was all out for 222 leaving Weston Creek an unlikely 250 off 41 overs to claim the treble.

Before the start of the day’s play Sean Maxwell saw his team’s chances as “twenty to one” and the side had 41 overs to prove him wrong. Creek had to score at just over 6 an over in a match that no team had scored at more than 3 an over. Opening the batting, Adam Rhynehart got the side off to the perfect start by bashing 46 runs off 29 balls. He was first dismissed with the score on 64 but the side had a sniff of a chance. Cade Brown joined Mowbray and the score moved to 89 before Mowbray was run out. John Rogers came to the crease and the pair put on 75 runs before Daniel Pascoe had Rogers caught and bowled. This sparked a mini collapse with both Field and Irvine falling victim to Pascoe. Ryan Bulger was elevated in the batting order and quick work by keeper Starr saw Bulger run out for just one. This put the ANU side in the driver’s seat with only four wickets needed with Creek needing a further 55 runs for victory. The two most experienced players in the Creek side was just what the doctor ordered and the pair looked immovable no matter what the students threw at them. With just 11 deliveries remaining in the match and the darkness approaching, Sean Maxwell hit the winning runs setting off wild celebrations among the Creek players and supporters. Maxwell hit an unbeaten 30 off just 20 deliveries while Brown made 94 off 90 balls and was named the inaugural Greg Irvine Medallist for the Player of the Match. It was an unlikely victory after the side was rattled in their first innings to be 3 for 5.

The Five Greatest Douglas Cup Finals – No.2 – 1959/60 – Bowled out for 19 but a Close Finish in the End

1959/60 season saw the defending Premiers Ainslie take on the Minor Premiers Manuka-Yarralumla. For those not aware where these teams were located, the Ainslie side’s boundaries were located everything north and west of Haig Park where as Manuka’s boundaries were located from Manuka Oval west towards the suburb of Yarralumla. The Manuka-Yarralumla side included the original Manuka side as well as the lower grade side Yarralumla. The teams were amalgamated in 1953 after a redrawing of the residential boundaries of the cricket clubs.

The Manuka-Yarralumla side had led the competition for the majority of the season, securing the Minor Premiership with two rounds remaining of the 12 rounds competition. The Ainslie side had to win their last match of the season against Queanbeyan to decide which club would face off against Manuka-Yarralumla in the final of the Douglas Cup. Ainslie won the match quite convincing with Queanbeyan being bowled out for 59 in response to Ainslie’s 1st innings of 235.

Having these teams face off in the Final of the First Grade Competition was quite apt as these teams were the strongest teams in the competition with these two sides providing the majority of players to the ACT representative side that season. Other clubs to participate in the competition (other than Manuka-Yarralumla, Ainslie and Queanbeyan) were Kingston, Northbourne and Turner. The Turner side finished last that season and seriously struggled to compete that season. Kingston finished third in the competition following Queanbeyan’s collapse against Ainslie in the last round. Northbourne finished second last and were not as strong as they had been in the 1930s when they dominated the competition along with Hall.

Along with their ACT Representatives, both sides had some key imports in their sides that season. Manuka-Yarralumla scored a coup when former first-class cricketer Gamini Goonesena came to Canberra to serve as the third secretary of the Ceylon High Commission. A right handed batsman and leg break bowler, Goonesena moved to England after playing for Ceylon. He played for Nottinghamshire and Cambridge University. After playing in Canberra he moved to Sydney and played first grade there as well as playing for New South Wales in seven matches. In all he took 674 wickets in first-class cricket in 194 matches. Although debuting in just Round 10, he had taken 23 wickets at 7.50 in just three matches prior to the Final.

The Ainslie side had a strong import as well to match Goonesena. His name was Brian Jones but was known as Barney. A fast bowler, he had played 1st Grade cricket for Carlton in the VCA 1st Grade Competition as well as playing VFL Reserves for Carlton and the VFA for Coburg. He played the first round of the VCA Competition in 1959/60 but then was transferred to Canberra due to work and he threw his lot in with the Ainslie club. Prior to the Final he had scored 302 runs at 33.50 and taken 32 wickets at 8.20. He played with Carlton from 1955/56 to 1970/71, scoring 3800 runs and taking 379 wickets. He is now probably better known as father of former Australian International cricketer Dean Jones.

The Final was scheduled to be held over three days at Manuka Oval on April 2,3 and 9. The match was seen to be even as the sides had met twice during the season with each match being drawn. In the Round 3 match, rain washed out the second’s day play. On day one, Jones had dominated the match scoring 158 including seven fours and eight sixes. In Round 8, Manuka scored 195 and in reply Ainslie reached 8 for 163.

The match started on April 2 with the Governor-General, Viscount Dunrossil in attendance from the start. Ainslie won an important toss in terms of the match and sent the Manuka side in on a wet wicket. The Manuka-Yarralumla batsmen floundered in the wake of excellent and accurate swing bowling by Jones and Ian Lees who was the nephew of the ACT Hall of Fame inductee Lorne Lees. Manuka lost their first wicket at 2 and within no time the side was 4 wickets for 6 runs. Gus Vallance was next to go with the score at 9 caught by Brian James off Ian Lees. The next wicket fell at 16 was Colin Whitehead, which was a 7 run partnership with Goonesena for the innings which ended up the innings’ highest partnership. Manuka lost their last three wickets for no runs and the innings finished on the paltry total of 19 in just 11.4 eight ball overs. Jones had the figures of 4 for 13 while Lees had the remarkable figures of 6 for 6 off 5.4 overs.

Ainslie went into bat and their innings did no better to start with, losing their first three wickets for just 9 runs, all to fast bowler Bill Heath who had come from Leeton during the season. Brian James and Barney Jones helped Ainslie out trouble by scoring 16 and 28 not out respectively. Following the dismissal of James caught behind with the score on 44. The Ainslie batsman appealed against the light but it was dismissed by the umpires. Three more wickets fell with the score on 48 and then stumps were called with the total at 7 for 53.

Heath had taken all 7 wickets so far and was on track to take all ten. Strang was then dismissed for 7 by Heath and the score was then on 58. Ron Irlam took the ninth wicket and Hopkins was run out and the innings was completed with the total on 65. The innings had only lasted another 20 minutes on the second morning. They took a lead of 46 on the first innings which seemed vital although the wicket was becoming more docile.

Manuka-Yarralumla began their second innings in a more confident manner and Flynn and Robertson put on 38 for the first wicket before Robertson played forward to a slower ball and was caught and bowled by Lees. With the score on 56, Flynn was caught at backward square leg off Jones with the score on 56. Flynn had made 27, at that stage the second highest score of the match. Whitehead and Evans encountered a persistent attack of Jones and Kevin McCarty who reduced the run rate and tried to regain the ascendency. Whitehead, who in 1960 was a member of the Australian Basketball team which tried to qualify for the 1960 Rome Olympics, was then the next to fall with the score on 83 caught be Lees off McCarty. Evans, the wicket-keeper was next to fall eight runs later for 91, also off McCarty. Evans dismissal caused a mini collapse with Manuka falling to 7 for 99 and Ainslie seemed almost certain for victory. Heath and Goonesena saw Manuka through to stumps and their score was 6 for 116 with a lead of just 70 runs.

The final day’s play started with Ainslie still the favourite to win the match and with Prime Minister Robert Menzies in attendance. Heath was out early bowled by Jones with only one run added to the total. Seven runs later the eighth wicket fell when Clark was bowled by Ian Lees. Seven runs later, Goonesena was bowled middle stump for 30 by Lees, the highest score for the match. Irlam was last out without adding the score and the innings ended at 131 off 46.3 overs. Jones had figures of 5 for 51 and Lees had 3 for 26. Jones took 9 wickets for the match. Ainslie were set 86 runs to win the match outright and go back to back as the holders of the Douglas Cup.

The Ainslie innings started badly when Heath dismissed Webb caught in close with the score on nought. McCarty and new batsman Preston took risky singles and gradually built up the innings, edging their way towards victory. Preston was given a life, dropped by Vallance in the slips. Goonesena came into the attack and despite conceding eight runs in his first over, changed the course of the innings in his next over. In successive deliveries Goonesena bowled Preston and then the key wicket of Jones stumped. This left Ainslie at 4 for 31, still 56 runs away from victory. Key Ainslie batsmen Brian James and Allan Hawke were at the wicket and they struggled to rest the advantage away from Manuka.

With the score on 41, James was dismissed for 6, bowled by Goonesena. One run later, Goonesena struck again, having Hawke stumped by Evans for 10. Nelson and Ian Lees were at the wicket and despite the best efforts of Goonesena, the pair put on 23 putting Ainslie only 21 runs away from victory with 4 wickets still in hand. The match had swung back towards Ainslie.

Goonesena made the breakthrough leaving Nelson stranded yards down the pitch, having him stumped for 12. Five balls later, Strang was bowled by Goonesena without adding the score and the match swung again. Bill Heath came back into the match the next over when the Ainslie wicket-keeper Kevin Gibb was bowled. The score at tea was 9 for 66, Ainslie still 20 runs from victory. Lees and Hopkins edged the score closer and closer and they were only 10 runs from victory when Goonesena claimed his seventh wicket for the innings by clean bowling Lees for 18.

After being dismissed on Day 1 for just 19, Manuka-Yarralumla had pulled off the impossible, winning the match by just 9 runs.

Manuka-Yarralumla 19 (BK Jones 4-13, IJD Lees 6-6) & 131 (G Goonesena 30, K Flynn 27, BK Jones 5-51, IJD Lees 3-26, KV McCarty 2-32) defeated outright Ainslie 65 (BK Jones 28no, W Heath 8-31) and 76 (G Goonesena 7-28, W Heath 3-28) by 9 runs at Manuka Oval on April 2,3,9, 1960.

The Five Greatest Douglas Cup Finals – No.3 – 2007/08 – Tuggeranong Valley v Western District-UC – Record Chase and Teenagers to the Fore

Although the two sides contesting the 2007/08 ACT 1st Grade Final didn’t finish in the top two spots after the preliminary rounds, both sides contained many players who went on to play First-Class, List A or Twenty20 Cricket. The Tuggeranong side contained future representative players Tom Thornton, Ashton May, Jason Floros and Jason Behrendorff while Western District contained Ryan Carters, Ben Oakley and Nathan Lyon.

Weston Creek were the Minor Premiers in 2007/08 but were upset by Western District in the Semi Final. Creek had led the match on the first innings but collapsed in their second innings to Andrew Appledorff (5-43) and Nathan Lyon (3-6) for 106. Wests then scored the required runs to get an unlikely outright victory. In the other semi final, Tuggeranong had an fairly easy victory on the first innings against Queanbeyan with Ashton May leading the way with an unbeaten 113.

The Manuka wicket was a typical Manuka wicket. A bit of life early and then after lunch it would flatten out and be a batmen’s paradise and the reverse, a bowler’s graveyard. Tuggeranong Valley’s captain, Dave Jeffrey, did the expected thing and won the toss and elected to bat. Left arm quick, Ben Oakley did the damage early for Wests dismissing both David Griffith and David Jeffrey to have Tuggeranong 2 for 39. This brought the semi final centurion Ashton May to the crease and together with opener Tom Thornton set about building a solid footing for the Tuggeranong side.

The pair put on 182 runs for the third wicket for Tuggeranong before May was dismissed just short of his second successive century for 90 caught by Ben Oakley off Nathan Lyon. John Evans was next dismissed, stumped off Andrew Jones and the momentum had started to swing again in the match back towards Wests with Tuggeranong 4 for 221. Jason Floros joined Tom Thornton and the pair put on 50 but then both players were dismissed shortly after one another. Shane Devoy was then run out just before stumps but Tuggeranong were still in a strong position of 7 for 291 at stumps.

Day two saw the Tuggeranong Valley tail wag. Keeper Sean Osborne and veteran quick Evan Kellar combined to put on what the side could think was a match winning partnership of 53. Kellar was then dismissed for 22 but Osborne helped by Behrendorff and Perera helped edge Tuggeranong to a total of 367 after Osborne was last out for 47. Tuggeranong would have thought that they were an odds on favourite to win the match. Only Weston Creek in 2006/07 with 458 and Northbourne in 1930/31 with 414 had scored a higher innings in a 1st Grade Final.

Western District started their innings and lost the early wicket of Taylor caught behind for 5 off Ash Perera. Brendan Lyon was next to fall with the score on 53 but seventeen year old Ryan Carters and Joe Cooke steadied the ship for Wests before stumps taking the score to 2 for 128 before time was called on the second day’s play. Carters was unbeaten on 45 and Cooke was on 37.

The final day, Monday, started with both sides sensing they both could go home with the Douglas Cup. Tuggeranong needed 8 wickets while Western Districts had a minimum of 96 overs to score the 240 runs they needed for victory.

Carters and Cooke had put on another 63 runs before Cooke was bowled by future Australian International bowler Jason Behrendorff for 68. The partnership between Carters and Behrendorff was 138 and put Wests in a strong position. Prolific Western District batsman Darren Richards joined Carters and the combination of youth and experience pushed Wests closer to victory. The pair put on 84 runs before Richards was dismissed one short of his half century.

Carters was the rock of the side but he was starting to run out of partners despite Wests being less than 100 runs from their target. Duane Hall joined Carters and they put on 55 before Hall was dismissed for 22 and Wests were 5 for 330, only 38 runs from victory. Oakley came and went caught by May off Perera for Perera’s third wicket of the innings.

Nathan Lyon joined Carters and the two ACT Under 19 players and future first-class players took the score to 359, just 9 runs from victory. Evan Kellar playing in his final match made the breakthrough, clean bowling Lyon for a vital 21, Carters still there on 139. Controversy then occurred when Perera believed that he had Jamie Anderson out caught behind for a duck with the score on 361. The umpired conferred and gave him out leaving Wests 8 for 361, Carters on 141. Captain Andrew Jones came to the crease and the next ball he was given out leg before wicket for a duck, giving Perera two wickets in two balls and his 5th wicket for the innings. This left Western District still six runs away from victory and Tuggeranong just a single wicket away.

Carters faced the next over from Evan Kellar and nicked the ball past keeper Osborne for three. Next number eleven batsman Andrew Appeldorff pushed a single to third man to get Carters back on strike. Then just before 6pm, showing the determination that guided him into the first-class arena, he pushed the ball towards gully where a misfield allowed Carters and Appeldorff to score the winning runs. Carters finished on 146 not out which was his initial first grade century and was awarded the Greg Irvine Medal for the Player of the Match in a close decision over his ACT Under 19 team mate Tom Thornton who on Day One made 141 to put Tuggeranong in a strong position.

The match brought down the careers of veteran players Evan Kellar and Andrew Jones but launched the careers of a number of players. The Tuggeranong side had Tom Thornton go on to play for South Australia, Jason Floros played for Queensland, Ashton May played for Tasmania and Jason Behrendorff continues to play for Western Australia and Australia in the T20 arena. Western District had Ryan Carters who went on to earn a rookie contract shortly after with Victoria and played first-class cricket with them and New South Wales as well as launching the cricket charity Batting for Change. They also had a young Manuka Oval apprentice groundsman named Nathan Lyon went on to play for South Australia before taking a wicket with his first ball in Test Cricket in 2011 and still being a main stay in the Australian Test side closing in on 400 Test Match wickets.

The Five Greatest Douglas Cup Finals – No.4 – 2018/19 – 40 Wickets in Two Days and a Club Back from the Brink

Number Four in the countdown in the greatest Douglas Cup Finals covers the 2018/19 Final between Ginninderra and Weston Creek Molonglo.

No.4 – 2018/19 – 40 Wickets in Two Days and a Club Back from the Brink

From 1992/93 to 2017/18, Ginninderra had only reached the semi finals of the 1st Grade competition once, in 2016/17. In most seasons they finished last or second last and were generally seen as easy beats by most clubs, a first innings win or an outright win was a given for most clubs when they played Ginninderra.

The 2016/17 season was a spark, the club made the semi finals for the first time since 1992/93, which was the last time the club won the Douglas Cup. Although the club lost their semi final that season against Weston Creek Molonglo, a positive vibe was growing around the club. The management of the club had changed, a couple of years earlier the home ground, Kippax Oval, had been redeveloped by the 2018/19 season came around, the drainage issues had been solved which meant the first grade side had a permanent home ground with excellent facilities.

Earlier in the 2018/19 season, Ginninderra had reached the Final of the Twenty20 Cup and from there the momentum swung and a positive vibe swelled around the club. Although the club lost the Final, confidence was high. The first grade side was led by local junior Rhys Healy and a number of junior cricketers had worked their way up to the senior side. The first grade side had a strong pace attack which was the envy of other clubs and in fact were down a fast bowler in Luke Ryan who had injured his knee playing indoor cricket the previous winter.

After making the Finals, Ginninderra were drawn up against powerhouse and reigning premiers Western District. Western District dominated the first day, that was up until the final hour of that day where Wests lost their last five wickets for 22 runs. Despite a middle order stutter, Ginninderra got home with three wickets to spare chasing 252 and they had made their first 1st Grade Final since 1992/93. The talk around the club was to “Bring Dougie Home”. A reference to the 1st Grade Trophy being named the Douglas Cup.

The 1st Grade Final was to be held at Phillip Oval. This was the first 1st Grade Final to be held at Phillip Oval. Cricket ACT had moved their headquarters from Manuka Oval to Phillip Oval and this ground was redeveloped with the assistance of the ACT Government, the ground was to be the second major ground in the ACT.

The Final was against Weston Creek Molonglo who were and still are one of the strongest clubs in ACT Cricket since the early 2000s. Weston Creek Molonglo finished fourth after the preliminary rounds but upset Tuggeranong Valley in their semi final to set up an unusual occurrence of 3 versus 4 in the Final. The start of the match was an anti-climax with the entire first day’s play washed out.

Day 2 saw overcast conditions but the wet weather was held at bay. Ginninderra captain Rhys Healy won the toss and elected to bat. Jordie Misic and Amit Sharma opened the batting for the Tigers and the first wicket was lost when the score was 21 when Jordie Misic was bowled by Djali Bloomfield. Three quick wickets fell soon after, all to Harry Medhurst, and Ginninderra were reduced to 4 for 38. Then there was a strong 68 run partnership between Sharma and Gus Le Lievre which brought the total to 106 before Le Lievre was dismissed. Not long after Sharma was dismissed for an extremely gritty 61 off 133 balls in 195 minutes which ended up being the highest score for the match. Ginninderra were on the verge of being dismissed for a low total until Nick Owen and Jarryd Hatton put on 68 for the 8th wicket with both batsmen contributing 30 and 39 respectively. The last three wickets feel quickly and Ginninderra was dismissed for 193. Harry Medhurst was the pick of the bowlers with 4 for 50. The total was seen as a more than defendable total, considering the state of the wicket.

With a strong pace trio in Michael Ninneman, Jarryd Hatton and Jak Willcox, Ginninderra had Creek reeling at 5 for 66 at stumps including the vital wicket of Robbie Trickett for 32 just before stumps.

Day three started well for Weston Creek Molonglo, justifying the confidence that their captain John Rogers had in them. Tom Atallah and night watchman Djali Bloomfield carried the score to 5 for 102 before Atallah was dismissed for 31 caught behind by Josh Watling off Ninnemann. Bloomfield was next dismissed for a stoic 4 off 68 balls in 100 minutes. This started off another collapse and Weston Creek Molonglo were dismissed for 116. Michael Ninnemann was the star bowler with 6 for 54 despite having torn his quad in the semi final the previous week.

Ginninderra had a first innings lead of 77 and to secure their third Douglas Cup title, all they had to do was to bat the day out. The final had another twist in store as the Weston Creek Molonglo bowlers tore through the Ginninderra top order to have them reeling at 4 for 13. A vital 35 run partnership between Misic who made 13 in 91 minutes and Le Lievre who made 36 off 44 balls. Misic was dismissed with the score on 48 and Le Lievre was the 6th wicket to fall on 59 and the lower order limped along until the side was dismissed for 79. Quick, Djali Bloomfield dominated the bowling figures with a wonderful 4 for 31. Creek were set 157 in three hours to win the premiership and to break the hearts of the many Ginninderra supporters which had made their way to the ground to witness history.

The wicket was turning into a minefield and quick Jak Willcox took full advantage of it. Willcox, whose uncle had been part of the last Ginninderra side to win a first grade premiership, took 4 of the first six wickets to fall for Creek in their second innings leaving them at 6 for 18 including the prize wicket of Creek captain John Rogers caught behind for a duck. Ben de Carvalho showed some spirit with 12 but his dismissal saw the team fall to 9 for 38 and heading for a record low score. There was resistance from Aiden Cowie who made 26 off 29 balls batting at number ten but Jak Willcox came back on and quite fittingly took the last wicket to hand the Tigers an outright victory by 85 runs and sending the Ginninderra supporters into rapturous celebrations. Michael Ninneman took another four wickets in the second innings to make it ten for the match and claim man of the match honours.

The club was given further cause for celebration, it was awarded the Australian Premier Cricket Club of the Year by Cricket Australia in May of 2019.

Ginninderra 193 (A Sharma 61, JJ Hatton 39, AL Le Lievre 35, NL Owen 30, HD Medhurst 4-50, DMR Bloomfield 3-58, SR Taylor 2-22) & 79 (AL Le Lievre 36, DMR Bloomfield 4-31, SR Taylor 3-18, HD Medhurst 2-20) defeated outright Weston Creek Molonglo 116 (RW Trickett 32, TG Atallah 31, M Ninneman 6-54, J Hatton 2-25, JM Willcox 2-30) & 71 (AF Cowie 26, JM Willcox 5-11, M Ninneman 4-39) by 85 runs at Phillip Oval on March 22(no play),23,24, 2019.

The Ginninderra Tigers have their hands on the Cricket ACT Douglas Cup for the first time in 26 years. Photo: Cricket ACT

The Five Greatest Douglas Cup ACT 1st Grade Finals – No.5 – 1930/31

As part of the countdown to the 2020/21 Douglas Cup 1st Grade Final, I am counting down what I believe are the five greatest Douglas Cup Finals. This match is the fifth on the list.

No.5 – 1930/31 – Northbourne v Ainslie – The Match which went on Forever!

The 1930/31 Final was held between Northbourne and Ainslie and started at Manuka Oval. Northbourne were the Minor Premiers by one point from Queanbeyan and Ainslie finished third after the home and away series. This Final was the first to be held at Manuka Oval, previous finals had been held Northbourne Oval and the Acton Sports Ground.

The first day of the final was held on March 21 but with heavy rain on the Thursday and Friday, an inspection of the wicket on the Saturday saw the day’s play abandoned.

The second day of the match saw excellent sunshine but play was suspended not long after 5.30pm due to heavy clouds. Ainslie won the toss and batted carefully throughout the day if now slowly to make 4 for 155 by the end of the day. Ainslie lost two early wickets, Edward Maloney and the captain John Read, which exacerbated the careful and slow batting by the Ainslie side. Harold Maloney was the next to fall for 15, lbw to Tickner. Lisle Maloney and Jock McKenzie put on a decent partnership until Maloney was stumped by Carnall for 56. When stumps were drawn, McKenzie was not out 62 and Tom Gribble was 8 not out. There was no play the following Saturday due to the ground being used for a representative match between the Federal Capital Territory and Dr Neil Blue’s XI in Sydney.

Play resumed on 11 April and Ainslie was dismissed for 342, adding 197 runs for the day’s play. Gribble was the first wicket to fall during the day after an hour’s play falling for 22. Not long after McKenzie was clean bowled by Tickner for 85. Bill Graham and Green were next partnership but Green was dismissed for 6 following a sharp catch behind the wicket by Carnall, Clyde Bunny being the bowler. Following this dismissal, the pace quickened for the Ainslie side. Collins was next dismissed for 19, scored in a few minutes. Graham and W Maloney put on a number of runs for the 9th wicket with both batsmen scoring freely. Maloney made 32 including three fours and a six and Graham was last dismissed for 84. Following the change in innings, a single ball was bowled in the Northbourne innings before an appeal was made against the light.

The fourth scheduled day’s play started on April 18 and concerns were starting to made that the conclusion of the final match of the season would start to interfere with the start of the football season. In addition a number of matches in the FCT Tennis Competition had to be postponed as competitors were still involved in the final. Parker and Bunny opened the batting and Bunny was the first dismissed for 38. Waterman was dismissed soon after who was then replaced by the captain Warren McDonald. McDonald was dismissed for 36 when he was bowled off his pads by Lisle Maloney when the score was 161. Carnall was then run out for 1 and then Temby was dismissed for 7. By the time stumps was called, Parker was unbeaten on 114.

The FCT Cricket Associated had scheduled an additional day’s play for the A Grade Final at the RMC Oval on Sunday April 19 but the Ainslie side did not appear. Sunday cricket was a contentious issue at the time and following Ainslie’s not attendance on the Sunday, a special meeting of the FCTCA was held on April 22. During this meeting it was agreed that play would continue on Saturdays and Sundays (starting April 26) from 2pm onwards until a completion in both the A Grade and B Grade Finals would be achieved. Play would also continue on Saturdays at 11am. There was talk that there would be play on the forthcoming Saturday which would be ANZAC Day but it was decided to comply with the wishes of the President of the Returned Service’s League that no play would take place. No action was taken against Ainslie’s not attendance for play the previous Sunday.

The move to include Sunday play was scuttled when the Civic Administration prohibited Sunday sport across the Territory. The match continued on May 2 and it was moved to the RMC No.1 Oval as Manuka Oval was booked for the opening of the Football season which the Prime Minister and Governor-General attended. Northbourne continued batting on and scored another 173 runs for the loss of three wickets. Parker was the first batsman dismissed on the play, adding another 11 runs before being caught at first slip for 125. Tickner came and went but Scott and Nish brought the total for 8 for 403 when an appeal against the light was upheld. Scott reached his century and was 105 not out at stumps while Nish was unbeaten on 27. Negotiations started at the end of play between the clubs for the completion of the match but Ainslie refused saying that the match had to reach a complete conclusion as set out in the constitution.

Play was scheduled to continue on May 9 at 1.30pm but heavy rain in the preceding days meant that the RMC wicket was unplayable. The next Saturday, the ninth since the start of the match was May 16. Northbourne was finally dismissed for 411 with Scott out for 110 and Nish for 27. Ainslie started their second innings and had the worse conditions of the match, batting on what was described as “rolled mud”. Ainslie had lost 5 for 76 when stumps were drawn. Green top scored with 26 while Conron was the best of the bowlers with 3 for 12. The 11th Saturday, May 23 passed and was washed out without any play, the third such happening during the match.

During this Saturday, there was talk of continuing the match on the matting wicket of the North Canberra club but the Ainslie players objected and no agreement could be made between the players of both sides and the umpires. A special meeting of the FCT Cricket Association Executive decided that the match would be moved to the North Canberra Ground on May 30 due to concerns about the wicket preparation at the RMC Oval. The match was concluded on May 30 when the Ainslie side failed to appear at the North Canberra Ground as they had protested at the meeting previously regarding moving the match to a matting wicket. As they did not appear, the match was awarded to the Northbourne Club.

The match which lasted 12 Saturdays had far reaching consequences. The following two seasons, no finals matches were played, the premiership was awarded to the side leading at the end of the preliminary rounds. When Finals were reintroduced in 1933/34, matches were limited to a maximum of four Saturdays with a result being allowed on the first innings for the first time if an outright result could not be achieved.

Ainslie 342 (J McKenzie 85, WA Graham 84no, LR Maloney 56, W Maloney 32, AJ Scott 2-37, CL Bunny 2-48, WD McDonald 2-48, S Begley 2-64, WC Tickner 2-68) & 5-79 (FC Green 26, A Conron 3-12) lost to Northbourne 414 (RG Parker 125, AJ Scott 110, CL Bunny 38, WD McDonald 36, S Begley 28, AJ Nish 27, WA Graham 4-127, LR Maloney 3-110) by a concession.


On This Day in ACT Cricket History – 5 March

  • 1895 – Birth of Henry Clapson (ACT 1934/35)
  • 1916 – Birth of William Worthy (ACT 1934/35-1937/38)
  • 1927 – Birth of Philip Senior (ACT 1955/56)
  • 1968 – Birth of Mark Steel (ACT 1986/87-1992/93)
  • 1969 – Western District Cricket Club formed
  • 1970 – Birth of Sunil Bhandari (ACT 2002/03)
  • 1972 – Birth of Andrew Scotford (ACT Umpire)
  • 1983 – Craig Bradley, Frank Hansby, Darren Miller and Ken Rooke make their ACT Debut
  • 1993 – Death of Les Reardon (ACT 1936/37-1937/38)

On This Day in ACT Cricket History – 3 March

  • 1979 – Richard Done makes his First-Class Debut
  • 1979 – New South Wales play Pakistan in the initial First-Class match at Manuka Oval
  • 1984 – Peter Solway makes his ACT Debut
  • 1989 – Birth of Shane Devoy (ACT 2007/08-2017/18)
  • 1992 – Birth of Wui-Kwan Wong (ACT Debut 2012/13)
  • 1994 – Birth of Tom Rogers (ACT 2013/14-2016/17)
  • 2015 – Ireland and South Africa play a World Cup match at Manuka Oval