By GREGOR MACTAGGARTmactaggartg@gladstoneobserver.dyndns.org
THEY have done it again. The Glen are the Gladstone Cricket A grade premiers for the third straight season after a hard-fought outright win over minor premiers Brothers at Clinton Park yesterday.
It was the first outright grand final victory in more than 15 years and understandably pleased an ecstatic skipper David Jefferis.
'The boys played tremendous over the past couple of days, we needed all 11 boys to perform and they did that when it counted,' Jefferis said.
'We knew that coming into the grand final and it is fantastic that everyone did their bit ? I am very proud of all the team.'
Jefferis added the premiership win had exceeded expectations with this season intended to be a rebuilding one.
'Considering we had just five guys left from last year's team ? to win this premiership is just fantastic,' he said.
'I can't say enough about all the young boys in the side.
'Rowan (Murray) bowled great, Mick (Gosschalk) stood up when we needed, while the likes of Bretto (Rogers), Kirky (Liam Kirk), Eddie (Adam Irvine) and Lewy (Lewis Collocott) have had top seasons.'
Back to the match and The Glen were always in with a chance after scoring 169.
Opener Brett Rogers top-scored with 38, while the middle-order trio of the skipper (26), Lance Mazzer (25) and Aaron Bachmann (20) played key roles.
But it was valuable 15 not out from number 10 bat Greg Nicholls and his 19-run last wicket stand with Lewis Collocott which proved pivotal. Leg-spinner George Kiss bowled superbly, taking 5-46 off 21.1 overs.
In a tense chase, Brothers were well-served by Matt Turich who top-scored with 39, while skipper Pat Laws (29) and Kiss (19) also batted well.
But it would not be enough for Brothers as 'Sorbent' Nicholls cleaned up the tail to leave the Brethren an agonising 15 runs short on 154.
Needing to force an outright win to claim the premiership title, Brothers attacked The Glen in their second dig.
With the decider on a precipice, The Glen slumped to 7-85 before a 51-run partnership between Jason Jefferis and Michael Gosschalk alleviated the pressure.
Tireless paceman Turich picked up a fabulous hat-trick to finish The Glen's innings for 136, leaving Brothers needing 151 runs with just over a hour left.
Turich finished with a deserved 5-25, while the experienced Dave Lewis took 3-29.
The Brethren hadn't given up the ghost and with Laws in full flight, looked dangerous.
But when he fell, courtesy of a superb direct hit run out by Jason Jefferis for 32 ? the Brothers chase looked over.
Led by the gutsy Turich (24), the Brethren still tried, but there was only one winner and that was The Glen.
As the sun set on Clinton Park, the premiership win was finally secured when Turich slashed one off David Jefferis to a grateful Adam Irvine.
Jefferis wrapped up his man of the match display with 4-45, while Rowan Murray 2-36 also shone with the ball. Brothers skipper Pat Laws summed it up in a simple fashion after the match.
'Mate, we didn't make enough runs ? 15 not enough of them,' Laws said.