By Michael Roberts | posted on January 14, 2021
MT BARKER and Manypeaks made it through to the Albany and Districts A-Grade T20 Grand Final as the only teams to win three matches in the four- round tournament.
The short-form decider was supposed to be played on Sunday afternoon, but was later postponed until February when rain stopped the final match from going ahead.
After losing their first T20 fixture to Royals back in December, Peaks looked like a completely different outfit in the New Year as gun recruit Daniel Rees piled on the runs.
The former Perth first- grader scored a brilliant 69 not out from 61 balls against Barker on Saturday in a peerless innings that included four sixes and three fours.
Barker suffered their first defeat of the season as they failed to chase down 126 for victory.
A middle-order collapse saw the Bulls finish the game on 8/92 from their 20 overs.
Rees backed it up again on Sunday, compiling a more restrained 41 off 43 balls facing Collingwood Park’s attack to secure Peaks a birth in this season’s T20 grand final – a first for the Association.
Chasing down Collingwood’s below-par total of 99, Rees was cool and collected at the crease as he guided his side to vic- tory in the 17th over.
Nathan Dovey regained some of the form that saw him top Park’s run scoring last season, hitting three sixes on his way to a rapid-fire 42-run dig.
Mt Barker struggled to find form with the bat on Saturday, but came back with a bang in Sunday’s fixture against Railways, tonking 149 batting first.
Menacing all-rounder Nathan Crudeli hit 57 from 39 balls and Neil Ferreira chipped in for a classy 41 opening the batting.
Crudeli hit young pace- man Cooper Filipowski for two big sixes in the final over as Barker smashed their way to the tournament’s highest team total.
Tigers captain Coen Marwick was going to have to make a big score for Railways to have any chance of reaching the imposing total, but never looked fluent as he was out for six in the seventh over.
One wicket brought two, with Barker captain Jeremy Wood on a hattrick after trapping Ryan Davies lbw for a golden duck.
Tigers wicket-keeper Aiden Dallimore hit a run-a-ball 20 before rain stopped play in the 15th over and Barker was awarded the win via the Duckworth-Lewis method.
Royals played themselves out of grand final contention the day earlier after two mediocre batting displays saw them lose both their Saturday games against Barker and Collingwood Park.
The Lions have heavily relied on the run-scoring capability of prodigious batting talent Ryley Valli this season. But with the 16-year-old unable to get past 10 in both games, no one else stood up for Royals when they needed it.
Missing Captain Mitch Green through a broken finger, a youthful Royals side looked like they were one experienced batsman short.
Defending 96 against Mt Barker was always going to be a tough ask, although they gave it a fair crack. Managing just 88 against Collingwood Park would have been a far more disappointing result.
Park’s Dustin Boyce was the clear man-of-the-match, finishing with the impressive figures of 4/18 from his four overs.
The T20 results – which counted for premiership points – saw Royals slide to third on the A-grade ladder, while Manypeaks have jumped to second place on four wins and five losses.
Defending premiers Railways remain rooted the bottom of the table on three wins.