Sawtell once, twice, three times a premier
SAWTELL has continued its period of CHDCA dominance by winning its third straight first grade cricket premiership.
The hard fought win over a spirited Nana Glen was incredibly Sawtell's 10th title in 14 years.
On paper the result looks a fait accompli but Sawtell passing Nana Glen's first innings total for the loss of only four wickets doesn't tell the tale of how the vanquished refused to throw the towel in.
Shortly after that moment, all Sawtell had to do was probably bat out until the tea break for the loss of only a couple more wickets for all parties to agree that no other result could be reached but Nana Glen claimed four wickets for only five runs to breathe life into the contest.
Victorious captain Richie Gallichan said staying at the crease longer after the first innings result was decided could've made Sawtell's life a whole lot easier.
"We were very disappointed with our batting in the first innings. We had a chance to kill the game and take it out of Nana Glen's reach and we didn't do that," he said.
"We got ourselves into a little bit of a precarious situation where we had to go and survive 15 overs and they were obviously going to be fired up and they were."
A come from behind outright victory at this stage was still unlikely as there little more than half a day of play remaining but where there's hope there's fight.
Trailing by 31 runs after the first innings, Nana Glen batted a second time to give their bowlers something to bowl at a tthe end of the day and batted at close to seven runs an over for 16 overs to grab an an 80-run lead before declaring.
Sawtell only needed to bat out 15 overs to be the premier but lost two wickets in the first four overs to create some nerves.
Experienced heads Tim Welsford and Gallichan batted out the next 11 overs to guide Sawtell to the premiership shield.
Gallichan gave credit to Nana Glen's fighting spirit.
"There are plenty of other teams who might've given up after we passed them in the first innings but Nana Glen stuck at it, bowled us out and gave themselves a sniff which I thought was really gutsy," he said.
Nana Glen captain Josh Bartlett said losing the toss and being sent in a wicket with plenty of moisture in it after a couple of days of constant rain made life tough for his team.
"Batting was real tough. To get to 90 I thought we did real well. It was probably a little bit under par but it was still alright, it was a tough pitch," Bartlett said.
"Our fellas were getting hit off length balls, getting hit in the shoulder and head. It was really tough out there. Today it evened out a lot but it still wasn't easy out there."
As is always the case in a hard fought affair, the vanquished leave with thoughts of what if. Bartlett was no different post game.
"Even if we could've made another 20 or maybe even survived through yesterday and batted for a bit today, we had another 20 overs up our sleeve we would've been alright but not be," he said.
"Sawtell did well and were the better side."
Nana Glen 1st Innings 90 (J Ireland 27, A Budd 20, R Gallichan 5-20)
Sawtell 1st Innings 121 (T Mitchell 39, R Welsh 25, J Ireland 5-29)
Nana Glen 2nd Innings 8-111 (J Bartlett 48n.o, B Bartlett 27, A Ellis 3-24)
Sawtell 2nd Innings 2-22 (T Welsford 13n.o)