Central Coast Rush has been crowned the 2018/19 Plan B Regional Bash Champions after defeating ACT Aces in the final at the SCG today.
The win continues the marvellous run the Central Coast have experienced this year having already claimed the NSW Country Colts (Under 18’s), Bradman Cup (Under 16’s) and Kookaburra Cup (Under 14’s) trophies and on Sunday will be going for an unprecedented clean sweep of all Country Crickey NSW Male competitions when they take on ACT Southern Districts in the McDonalds Country Cricket NSW Championships Final at Wollongong on Sunday.
Relishing the opportunity to play at the historic Sydney Cricket Ground the Central Coast Rush put in a superb all-round performance to defeat the Aces by 28 runs in the final having earlier disposed of Coffs Coast Chargers by seven wickets in the semi-final.
In the final Central Coast won the toss and elected to bat and were able to put together a very competitive 4/152 off their 20 overs. Openers Tony Cornwell and Adam Taylor got the Rush off to an excellent start putting on 40 runs inside five overs before Cornwell was dismissed for a quickfire 21, which included a big six. Taylor followed almost immediately for 19, leaving the Rush at 2/43. Ben Cohen and Steve McCabe came together and continued the good work putting on 63 runs before McCabe was run out for 20. Cohen continued to be the aggressor hitting the Acers spinner for three consecutive boundaries at one stage and he reached 44 runs off 31 balls before he was dismissed. Hayden Murphy and skipper Hayden Murphy then completed the innings with an important partnership of 36 made up of aggressive running and good shot making to enable the Rush to reach 152. Murphy finished unbeaten on 26 and Gallichan on 12.
The Aces were known to have a strong batting attack so the total was well within their capabilities, however they were rocked in the third over when their key opener Tim Floros was run out by a direct hit from Scott Burkinshaw which could also be attributed to the maiden over bowled by Taylor. Despite the loss of the early wicket the Aces batsmen continued to attack and with captain Ethan Bartlett in ominous form raced to 67 in quick fashion. Unfortunately for the Acers Bartlett, having already taken 13 runs of Blair Lindsay’s over went to the well one to many times and was well caught on the boundary by Murphy.
The introduction of young spinner Broc Hardy was a master stroke by skipper Gallichan. Sixteen year old Hardy has risen to the occasion on numerous times this year and struck immediately picking up a wicket with his second ball. A 35 run partnership gave the Aces supporters hope, however this evaporated in the space of two overs as Hardy, two (the second courtesy off an excellent stumping by Harry Woodhead) and Chris Archer one, took three wickets for 6 runs to firmly swing the match the Rush’s way.
More tight bowling left the Aces needing a miracle with 33 runs needed off two overs. Taylor stepped up to cap off a great game by taking 3 wickets in the 19th over before Burkinshaw ended the match with the final wicket, much to the delight of the players and the many supporters who had made their way to the SCG from the Coast.
Ben Cohen was named player of the match for his 44 and Gallichan got to raise the trophy for the first time for the Central Coast.
It was a magnificent performance by Glenn Rowlands and the team, who in Round one of the pool games needed three runs off the final ball to defeat Newcastle Blaster, had they not got those three runs they would not have made the finals.
In the semi-final a brilliant 77 not out from Steve McCabe saw the Central Coast Russ record a comfortable win in the end over Coffs Coast Chargers.
Having to field first the Rush had to survive an early onslaught from the Chargers to restrict them to 5/134 off their 20 overs. Burkinshaw was the leading wicket taker with 2/34. After losing two early wickets the Rush firstly with McCabe and Taylor 23, then McCabe and Gallichan 23 not out put together successive 50 run plus partnerships to see the pass the Chargers total with 17 balls to spare and for the loss of just three wickets. Former Narara-Wyoming player Richie Gallichan, captaining Coffs Coast Chargers (In a twist of fate against his brother Peter who was captain of the Rush) scored 31 and took 0/14 off his four overs.
Both matches were livestreamed and you can view the matches at:
At 9.15am the Central Coast Cricket facebook Page will have video of the Medallion presentation.
Central Coast Rush Champions
Peter & Richie Gallichan