GAME, SET MATCH: Joe Price and James King celebrate after the final Merewether wicket falls at No.1 Sportsground to give Wests their first premiership since 1966. Pictures: Jonathan CarrollWHEN Joe Price had failed to produce with the bat Merewether captain Simon Moore feared that the champion Westsall-rounder would deliver with the ball.
Boy, was he right.
Price produced a herculean bowling performance to ensure Wests defended 210 at No.1 Sportsground on Friday and securedtheir first premiership since 1966.
Fittingly, Price claimed the final wicket;fielding a return drive off his own bowling to run out Dan Morton, leaving Merewether 26runs short.
Itwas a feat that the NSW Country star even hadthe energy to complete the final dismissal.
Wests end a 52 year premiership drought with win over Merewether in Newcastle District cricket final. pic.twitter苏州美甲/9e55EHoEwT
— James Gardiner (@JamesGardiner42) March 30, 2018TweetFacebook NDCA Final: Wests v MerewetherPictures: Jonathan Carroll“We wanted to be a good position at lunch so we could press the accelerator after lunch and try and take them on a bit,” Moore said. “Unfortunately we lost three wickets in the first hour after lunch which really set us back.”
Just as it looked like being a landslide victory, Geary launched a fight back. He combined with Dan Andrews (22) in a 58 run stand and then put on 44 with teenager Zach McGuigan (24) to take them within reachat 5-175.
Enter Price. He rattled the off stump as Geary tried to glide a fullish ball through third man.
“I’m proud of the boys and the way we fought back and made a game of it late in the day,” Moore said. “It was good for our young blokes today to experience what finals pressure is all about. We will only be better for it. We will come back hungry and work harder next year.”