Sawtell won’t be going to the finals this year after finishing fourth in the regular season.
Sawtell won’t be going to the finals this year after finishing fourth in the regular season. Leigh Jensen

Sawtell miss out on grand final

DIGGERS Ex-Services are through to the grand final and there’s now no chance of a sixth straight premiership for Sawtell ... at least not in this summer of cricket.

After a breathtaking run of success, the record-breaking Blue Caps won’t be there to defend their title after wet weather forced the cancellation of yesterday’s semi-final confrontation with Park Beach Bowling Club Colts.

As fourth side in the pecking order, Sawtell were eliminated.

Colts were elevated to play Dorrigo next weekend (weather permitting) for the final berth in the 2009-2010 decider after the match at Fitzroy Oval was called off on Saturday, giving Diggers a saloon passage to the big one.

So with another free Sunday on their hands the Sawtell lads spent yesterday around the bar, reminiscing over good times and wondering what might have been.

“The outfield wasn’t bad but there was just too much water on the pitch to allow play to go ahead,” club president Matt Bailey reported.

“Funny you know, over the years when we won all the premierships we didn’t have a single occasion where we advanced due to a washout so I guess it’s another first, not that you’d want it that way.”

Bailey is proud of the matches won and records set but admits there were no landmark moments this summer.

“At the end of the day it was a very poor season where we didn’t put two consecutive good performances together,” he said.

“We’d have a day when we’d be strong in batting depth while short in the bowling attack and then next week, it would swing around in the opposite direction.

“Personnel were a problem, with sudden non-availabilities forcing us to make last minute changes and not getting the right mix of experience out there.”

And there was one other little problem which every successful club finds almost impossible to overcome.

“The senior blokes are another year older and collectively, we may have faded ten per cent or so,” Bailey laughed.

“But there’s a fantastic group of young players emerging and with experience they’ll be the pathway to getting back on top.”

But Bailey and another of those ‘senior’ citizens, Kel McMillan, have something of which they can boast loudly, keeping a precocious young talent and future Test star down in the order during the 2004-05 season.

“Kel and I can always say we held our spots as opening batsmen and Phillip Hughes had to wait his turn,” he added dryly.

“Really, it’s not a bad claim to fame.”

Sawtell’s second grade side were also eliminated by the weather method on the weekend but the club will now switch attention to getting the minor grades across the line.

“Third grade survive again, fourth grade are the minor premiers and both fifth grade sides are still in the running,” the president revealed.



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