The Illawarra under 11s cricket team has won the Colin Cooper Cup after a tense grand final victory over Newcastle.
The match went down to the wire, with Newcastle requiring 12 off the final two overs, before Illawarra took four run outs to secure the eight-run victory.
Coach Troy Jensen was proud of the way the team worked together throughout the entire season to secure the victory.
“There were two aspects that were pleasing to me,” Jensen said. “We had key individuals stand up and have good performances and as a team, the boys played very well together. That was the most pleasing aspect as a coach, that they worked really well together.”
Batting first, Illawarra scored 7/174, with Blake Cattle top-scoring with an impressive 50. Riley Broadhead (20*) and Alby Feguson (17*) also chipped in with important late innings runs.
Ferguson took an early wicket with the ball, however the Newcastle top order made solid headway early in the run chase reaching 2/122. Ferguson struck again, putting Illawarra back in the game.
Illawarra kept fighting for the entire innings and ultimately held their nerve to claim the thrilling win.
Jensen was impressed with the team’s ability to play for the full 40 overs in the field.
“The most pleasing thing for me was the fielding side of things. We had four run outs, all direct hits. That turned the game for us in our favour, they were crucial wickets.
“It’s something we spoke about before the game. We might fall behind in the game, but never give up until the last ball is bowled. We didn’t throw the towel in and that was great to see as a coach.”
Jensen added that the victory isn’t purely for the players to celebrate.
“Everyone involved, the parents, manager, they’ve all got to be commended as well. The parents get the kids to games, help set up the ground, it makes my job a lot easier the effort they put in.”