Nymagee was crowned the 2017/18 40 Overs Cricket Competition Premiers after beating Empire by 67 runs on Sunday.
Nymagee won the toss and had no hesitation batting first on what appeared to be good wicket at Ward Oval.
Nymagee’s opening pair of Roger Mitchell and Mitch Holt has been in form this season averaging just under 50 runs for the opening partnership.
However, Mitchell was bowled in the opening over by Slade Neale and Nymagee were in the unfamiliar situation of 1/3.
Captain Jade Buckman came to crease to join Holt and the pair went about building the innings.
They were scoring at over five runs an over and took the score to 1/54 after 10 overs.
Tight bowling from Empire was able to slow down the scoring rate but they couldn’t stop Holt bringing up his fourth 50 of the season in the 18th over.
Holt and Buckman shared in a 90 run partnership before a stroke of luck for Empire saw Holt bowled by a full toss delivered by David Watson in the last over before drinks.
Holt was dismissed by 53 and Nymagee was 2/93 after 20 overs.
Empire stuck to their task and the loss of Holt’s wicket caused a batting collapse as Nymagee lost their next six wickets for 44 runs.
Buckman fell directly after the break to the bowling of Jay Egan for 33 runs while trying to lift the run rate.
Then Empire’s off-spinner Watson ripped through Nymagee’s middle order dismissing Stephen Nicholson (for 1), Matt Nicholson (17), Patrick Dillon (6) and Tony Polack for a golden duck to bring up Watson’s “five for” the game.
Nymagee was left reeling at 7/137 in the 30th over.
While the wickets were tumbling, Phil Harley was on 16 runs at the non-strikers end trying to hold Nymagee’s innings together.
Harley played a brilliant knock batting with the tail to put on 48 runs in the final 10 overs.
Harley contributed 41 of those runs to finish with 57 not out to get Nymagee to the respectable total of 9/185.
Empire did well to drag Nymagee back when a big total looked likely midway through the innings. Watson finished with bowling figures of 5/21.
Egan, Neale, Jake Harbison and Graham Harbison picked up one wicket each.
Needing 4.6 runs an over in reply, Empire would have to bat well to chase down the required total.
Their innings got off to the worst possible start with Nymagee’s Pat Dillon knocking over opener Clay Neale for a duck in the first over.
Dillon then picked up the big wicket of Jake Harbison for one in his next over.
Empire was in trouble at 2/4 in the third over.
Jay Egan and Robbie Mitchell tried to steady innings but Egan fell for seven to Harley in the 10th over and Empire was 3/19.
Empire then lost Travis Dunlevy for four to Joe Regan and Robbie Mitchell for 13 to Holt within the space of one run.
Empire was in big trouble with the score at 5/29 in the 14th over.
When David Watson fell for a duck to Holt with the score on 39, Nymagee were well on their way to victory.
Some later hitting from Slade Neale (23), Tarun Reddy (21) and Ben McBride (14) frustrated the Nymagee players, but in the end Nymagee wrapped up the tail bowling Empire out for 118 to win the premiership.
Mitchell Holt was named Player of the Grand Final scoring 53 runs and taking 3/29.
Anthony Polack took 2/19, Pat Dillon 2/24, Phil Harley 1/17 and Joe Regan 1/23.—contributed