Sweet revenge for Horsham Saints in under-16 grand final

HORSHAM Saints got revenge for last season's under-16 grand final defeat at the hands of Rup-Murtoa with a 38-run premiership victory at Horsham City Oval on Monday.

Last season Rup-Murtoa bested the previously undefeated Saints for Horsham's under-16 crown, but this year it was the underdog Saints who emerged victorious.

The grand final re-match certainly lived up to expectations.

The Saints elected to bat after winning the toss.

Opening pair Liam Atherton and Connor O'Beirne reached 34 without loss before a quick flurry of wickets.

Star batsmen Sam Leith and Tom Wentworth scored just three runs between them and were part of a period that saw the Saints lose four wickets for 15 runs.

Matt Burns started to right the ship at the end of the Saints' first 23 overs, guiding them to 6-66.

Joe Gardy was prominent for Rup-Murtoa with three wickets.

Horsham Saints coach Jeremey Byrne said preventing Rup-Murtoa from scoring easy runs early in the match was the key.

"They've made big scores in their first 20 overs for most of the season," he said.

"We knew it was vital to get early wickets, because if they got off to a flyer we'd be chasing them.

"We got an early couple of wickets, which was big for us."

The early wickets were those of Gardy, Corey Morgan, Bailey Batchelor and Lachie Mills, who were able to contribute only 13 combined runs.

Jed Lehmann bowled both Gardy and Morgan.

Chenoweth kept his side in the match as his partners fell, taking the minor premier to 4-47 from its opening 22 overs.

Saint Burns picked up where he left off in the first innings.

He was bowled and caught on two no-ball calls, before being dismissed for a match-high 51 runs.

Byrne praised the efforts of bowler Seb Dalgleish, who made a duck but stayed at the crease for 35 balls and allowed Burns to bat at the other end.

The Saints' 124-run total was always going to take some catching.

When Pat Maher fell to Jed Lehmann on the first ball of the second innings, Rup-Murtoa's task got even harder.

Horsham's sharp fielding kept Rup-Murtoa to a final total of 86 from 44.1 overs.

Burns was named man of the match, while team-mate Tom Wentworth was announced as the batting average winner.

Jung Tiger Tyler Puls won the bowling average.

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