Blayney Senior Cricket Club won their first President’s Cup championship since their re-entry into the competition in a gripping grand final at Bathurst over the weekend.
The young Blayney side defeated minor premiers St Pat’s Blue in the last hour of play after two see-sawing days of tough and entertaining cricket at George Park, Bathurst.
Blayney snuck into second position during the regular season after a late charge and defeated premiership favourites, St Pat’s Blue — their grand final opponents — in the major semi-final two weeks earlier.
Blayney captain Yousef Qureshi won the toss on Saturday and decided to bat on a low but true pitch with the team slowly compiling a well-crafted 237-run total over more than 100 overs.
As he has done throughout the year, Atticus Strong starred with the bat scoring 81 in the middle order to set-up the competitive Blayney total with Qureshi, Nathan Wells, and Terry Strong also making important runs and David Dixon providing lower-order ballast to the innings.
With probably the strongest batting line-up in the competition, St Pat’s then had 67 overs to reach Blayney’s total at a very-realistic 3.5 runs per over.
Atticus Strong spear-headed the attack with some accurate fast bowling, ably-supported by opening partner Aiden Prosper, to keep the Bathurst team’s run-rate below the required total.
Vital contributions by change-bowlers Terry Strong, Taylor Hobby, and Abbie Uhr swung the game Blayney’s way with Nathan Wells picking-up three vital late wickets.
Blue’s star batsman Jason Cooke led a short-lived fightback before a tight leg-before- wicket decision for Qureshi — who finished with bowling figures of four for 34 — finally snuffed-out the Bathurst team’s hopes.
Blayney’s disciplined bowling and fielding proved decisive with St Pat’s leaking 30 extras in wides, no-balls, and byes to Blayney’s eight.
During the presentation of the President’s Cup perpetual trophy after the game, Qureshi told of his pride at the attacking, sportsman-like cricket played by Blayney throughout the year.
Club Treasurer Damon Taylor — who’s Royal Hotel provided fantastic sponsorship and support for the two Blayney teams throughout the year — congratulated the President’s Cup players on their gritty win.