SWEET VICTORY: Lower Clarence celebrates with the Neil Frame Shield after defeating Coffs Harbour in the grand final at Harwood Oval.
SWEET VICTORY: Lower Clarence celebrates with the Neil Frame Shield after defeating Coffs Harbour in the grand final at Harwood Oval. Contributed

Lower rise to glory as Coffs crumble in final

CRICKET: For the first time in nine years Lower Clarence has raised the over-40s Neil Frame Shield after putting in a dominant display with the bat.

But it was a win that was teetering on the edge for most of the Coffs Harbour innings before veteran spinner Matt Young (4 for 10 off 3.2) brought about a major collapse to close out the 22-run victory.

Coffs Harbour, led by the bat of wicketkeeper Stuart Cowin (45) appeared to be cruising to victory at 3-150 chasing Lower's total of 8-190.

But it would be Young who turned the tables on the Coffs Harbour side as he took two wickets in three balls.

Lower Clarence captain Brendan James (2 for 30 off 5) would also get in on the action as Coffs Harbour lost 7-17 in one of the competition's worst collapses in history.

"There were a few moments there where I had completely given up,” James said. "At one stage they needed 40 off 45 balls and I was watching the ball sail back over my head.

"But the boys never gave up faith. Youngy was just awesome. He bowled a good line just back of a length and frustrated their batsman into playing some false shots.”

After enduring a tough start in the field with three dropped catches, the tide turned late in the day for Lower Clarence with both Nigel O'Neill and Scott Studdert hanging on to screamers.

"It's those guys I feel great for. I know Scotty was replaying that catch over and over in his head,” James said.

Earlier in the day it had been the Ensbey show for Lower Clarence as both Nathan and Mark Ensbey retired not out after reaching 40 runs.

It was reward for the Harwood batsmen who had to work into their innings on a sticky Harwood Oval surface after James had been run out for a golden duck.

"I was sitting back on my bat, I probably should have said no but I took off anyway and was out by a foot,” James said.

"It is not a problem. I would take a duck every day if we are winning the grand final.”

"Nathan just knuckled down and played a great innings while Mark set off the fireworks at the other end with a few boundaries.”

Matt Young (34) also kept the scoreboard ticking over before Coffs Harbour managed to slow the runs after the mid-innings drinks break.


At Harwood Oval

Toss: Coffs Harbour

Umpires: Steve Cameron, Dave Whitby

Lower Clarence 1st Innings

N Ensbey retired not out 40

B James run out (D Lodge, SJ Meakins) 0

MA Ensbey retired not out 40

MN Young b NC Harrigan 34

M Vallette c S Cowin b K Hoad 0

J Priddle st SJ Meakins b M Kellett 12

D Senz st SJ Meakins b NC Harrigan 1

G Ryan c K Hoad b BP Cunningham 27

T Lobb b NC Harrigan 7

S Studdert run out (M Kellett, SJ Meakins) 14

G Hartley not out 1

Extras (nb 3, w 2, b 6, lb 3) 14

EIGHT wickets for 190

Overs: 40

FoW: 1-6 (B James) 2-84 (M Vallette) 3-130 (J PRIDDLE) 4-135 (D Senz) 5-138 (MN Young) 6-156 (T Lobb) 7-185 (G RYAN) 8-190 (S Studdert)

Bowling: R Jefferies 4-0-26-0(1wd), BP Cunningham 6-1-15-1, D Lodge 6-0-23-0(1nb), GD Johnson 2-0-18-0(1nb), K Hoad 6-2-16-1, M Kellett 6-0-33-1(1nb, 1wd), NC Harrigan 6-2-21-3, S Cowin 1-0-10-0, MJ Benson 3-0-19-0

Coffs Harbour 1st Innings

NC Harrigan b M Vallette 31

MJ Benson b G Hartley 10

S Cowin c S Studdert b MN Young 45

D Lodge c P Brossman b D Senz 24

SJ Meakins b M Vallette 36

K Hoad c D Senz b MN Young 11

BP Cunningham lbw b MN Young 0

K Carey not out 1

R Jefferies st J Priddle b MN Young 0

GD Johnson b B James 1

M Kellett c D Senz b B James 0

Extras (nb 1, w 3, b 2, lb 3) 9

ALL-OUT for 168

Overs: 36.1

FoW: 1-36 (MJ Benson) 2-47 (NC Harrigan) 3-108 (D Lodge) 4-151 (K Hoad) 5-152 (BP Cunningham) 6-164 (SJ Meakins) 7-165 (R Jefferies) 8-167 (GD Johnson) 9-168 (M Kellett) 10-168 (S Cowin)

Bowling: G Hartley 6-0-18-1, T Lobb 6-1-26-0, M Vallette 4-0-21-2, MA Ensbey 6-0-31-0, D Senz 6-0-27-1(1nb, 1wd), B James 5-0-30-2(2wd), MN Young 3.1-0-10-4