Albion Park celebrate after finals wash out

SOUTH COAST FINAL

It wasn’t the way they wanted to end the season but Albion Park skipper Adam Coughlan was still elated his club are South Coast first grade premiers after the final was washed out at Geoff Shaw Oval.

Some of the heaviest rain in years meant not a ball was bowled in the decider against third-placed Oak Flats, with Albion Park winning the title as minor premiers.

Coughlan admitted there was ‘‘mixed emotions’’ to be champions with the final unable to be played.

‘‘It wasn’t the way we wanted the season to finish with no chance of playing the final but everybody tries to finish as high as possible and knows the reward for being minor premiers,’’ Coughlan said.

‘‘We wanted to play the final and get a result but that wasn’t possible.

‘‘The whole ground wasn’t fit for play - the wicket wasn’t right and parts of the outfield were destroyed. 

‘‘If you put your body weight on the ground it just sank below the surface in places. It could be four of five days before you’d get a game on the ground which is really disappointing for the two teams.’’

Albion Park stormed to their first top grade premiership since 2005-06 after playing their best cricket late in the season. 

A century from Graeme Smith was the difference in the semi-final against Shellharbour, while Albion Park beat Lake Illawarra in the final round to clinch the minor premiership.

Round 13 proved lucky for the Park with a second day washout earning them a draw against Oak Flats, while in round 12 they  beat third placed Kookas.

Oak Flats skipper Ryan Chatterton admitted it was a disappointing end to the season.

‘‘That’s the way it is ... we needed a few more days of sunshine,’’ he said.

The Rats lost just one competition match all season, won the Twenty20 competition and reached the one-day final.

The issue over the merits of a spare weekend was a talking point on South Coast Cricket’s Facebook site with Lake Illawarra veteran Tony McCabe saying it needs to be introduced.

‘‘I have to congratulate the SCDCA Board for doing everything in its power to get finals matches played this weekend,’’ McCabe said on Facebook.

‘‘However I have to say it is too late complaining about not having a spare weekend available. I have been trying to get spare weekends for finals reintroduced for 10 years but have received no support from either the board or any of its clubs.’’ 

Meanwhile, Lake Illawarra completed a brilliant season in Second Grade by beating Jamberoo in the final.

In Third Grade, Kookas defeated Oak Flats, while the Fourth Grade final between Lake Illawarra’s Blue and Gold teams was washed out, with Lake Blue declared premiers.

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