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Match Day

All Match Day News from the ECA

Pure joy for Deepdene Uniting as they officially claimed the 2023/24 Macgibbon Shield Grand Final. Photo: Michael Mirabella
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Deepdene Uniting triumph in the Macgibbon Shield Grand Final

Joy, relief for Deepdene Unting as they thwart Trinity Willison's 'three-peat' quest

Tense, low scoring final

Deepdene Uniting 169 defeated Trinity Willison 131

Player of the Match: Patrick Gregory 4/32 and 23*

In terms of modern ECA rivalries, it doesn't get much bigger than Trinity Willison versus Deepdene Uniting. This was their third consecutive Grand Final showdown - and Trinity Willison were warm favourties to complete their hat-trick of Macgibbon Shield flags. While Deepdene Uniting had an excellent season; they finished a clear second on the ladder, in their only match up this season Trinity Willision gave them a hiding, when they overhaulded their modest 132 (in 64 overs) in just 31 overs. Trinity Willison had only one loss for the season - against Burwood Uniting Canterbury in Round 8 when almost 600 runs were scored at Lynden Park in the one-day fixutre. Both sides won their respective semi-finals comfortably - interestingly both chasing down totals.

The match was played on neutral territory - at Macleay Park's #2 oval. Although, many of the players on both sides were quite familiar with the conditions having represented the Macgibbon Shield side against the Dunstan Shield Side in the T20 Challenge Series over the past two seasons.
Deepdene Uniting won the toss and had no hesitation in batting first. The forecast was for high 30s and cloudless skies for the afternoon.
Openers Christopher Menz (28) and skipper Harry Riddle (18) navigated a fiery opening spell to take the score to 0-43. Jake Barker (2/31) made the breakthrough, picking up Menz. Daniel Hartford was on the wrong end of a closs LBW call, not offering a shot facing Tom Clarke (4/57) who was bowling left arm around the wicket. Harry Riddle's patient knock (18 from 76) came to an end at the hands of Gabe Kennedy (2/29). Trinity Willison's bowling depth was on show and Deepdene Uniting slumpled to 8/97. Their situation was not helped by Divye Goyal (20 from 70) being run out from a direct hit from Michael Sparks.
Not for the first time in a Grand Final, the lower order came to the rescue. Adam Peat (29 from 48), player of the match Patrick Gregory (23* from 81) and Kern Kapoor (15 from 51) defied the bowling onslaught, and crafted out a face-saving 161. Importantly they kept Trinity Willison side on the park for 79 of their 80 alloted overs.
Trinity Willison's response started postively. Nick Sparks (22 from 32) was coasting until he was undone by Adam Peat (2/32) and a spectacular middair catch from Anthony Kyrkou. John Graves was then run-out, and this was the first of three run disasterous run outs in the innings. Michael Sparks (28) had an outstanding season and was looking comfortable until he got a thick outside edge and was caught at slip off Patrick Gregory (4/32). With the score on 3/71, the game was in the balance. With the Sparks' brothers back in the shed, Deepdene Uniting seized their opportunity. Runs dried up and it was hard to see where Trinity Willson were going to get the runs thank to the tight bowling, and excellent fielding. They lost two more wickets - and at 5/89, a lot rested on the shoulders of Sam Jordan (22) who was playing the middle order anchor role. But in environments only experienced in big finals, one side could do no wrong. Run outs, catches sticking (including one by the keeper Michael Seeley standing up to the stumps) and the accompanying confident chirping all pointed to this being the underdog's day.  After the match, both Captains were generous in their praise for the respective teams and for each other.
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Player of the Match Patrick Gregory (4/32 and 23*) working hard for Deepdene Uniting. Photo: Michael Mirabella

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Trinity Willison Captain Nick Sparks got the chase off to a quick start - launching this one over the boundary for six. Photo: Michael Mirabella

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Christopher Menz hit some powerful shots opening the batting for Deepdene Uniting on his way to 28. Photo: Michael Mirabella


Match Day