Double wicket drama unfolds in the last over

AN EVENTFUL final over proved a fitting climax to a huge day of cricket at Yaralla Cricket Club's double wicket competition at Yaralla Oval yesterday.

Yaralla opening batsman Michael Lovegrove and Darren Quinlan, whose performances in the middle are generally limited to refereeing soccer, took the honours with a dramatic last ball victory in the final.

Chasing a total of 35 off four overs set by Rob Johnson and Daniel Whitmore in the decider, Lovegrove sealed the win when he lofted Whitmore straight down the ground and over the boundary to claim the $150 first prize.

After being 0-10 off two overs, Lovegrove and Quinlan stepped up the pace, taking 10 off Johnson's second over before Lovegrove launching two sixes of Whitmore in the final over.

If the event wasn't contested under such an amiable atmosphere there may have been controversy surrounding the last over with Quinlan adjudged run out despite fieldsman Chris Stitt appeared to have fielded the ball over the boundary prior to his return to the bowler's end.

With no runs recorded for the delivery, it was fortunate Lovegrove's big hit sealed the issue.

Stitt had earlier been involved in the most destructive over of the day, belting former Yaralla clubmate Troy Schubel for five sixes in sucession before calmly taking two off his final delivery of the over to claim 32 off six balls.

Set a formidable target of 61 by Ron Craig (57) and Schubel (4), Stitt made sure he and Joe Guinea (8 not out) got the runs with two balls to spare, belting a quick-fire 55.

However, it did not prevent Stitt and Guinea being bundled out in the semi-finals by Johnson and Whitmore who coasted to 0-31 to win.

The other semi-final was a lowscoring affair with Quinlan and Lovegrove defending their score of 19 by removing Heath Courtney and Tom McGuire for 14.

Courtney's 2-3 in an earlier game was the day's best bowling figures.

Ross O'Connor was named fielder of the day for his effort to go unreplaced in the outer throughout the event and scorer Linda Bond was awarded the club person of the day honours.

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