JOEL Robinson ensured the O’Farrell Cup returned to Wagga after scoring an impressive half-century against the Holbrook and District Cricket Association yesterday.
Opener Robinson smashed an unbeaten 77 as Wagga snatched the prized possession with a nail-biting three-wicket win with just an over to spare at Holbrook.
The visitors needed four runs to win from seven deliveries and Alex Jones hit the winning runs with a boundary as Wagga finished 7-154, chasing down Holbrook’s 153.
While shattered his side’s winning run had come to an end, Holbrook skipper Grant Forrest paid tribute to the fighting spirit of his unfancied side.
“We weren’t far away,” the Henty star said.
“They got it with an over to go.
“It was touch and go the whole way.
“They had a 40 or 50-run partnership that helped them along but we were always in it.
“We dropped a couple of important chances. If you take those chances it’s a different ball game.
“The whole three games we played to our ability so that’s all I can ask for.”
Robinson, who was dropped twice — once by Forrest — had allies in Evan Smith (22) and Josh Thompson (20).
He put on 67 with Smith in a crucial late-innings partnership.
Earlier, Jim Grills made a defiant 59 to help rescue the Holbrook innings, made difficult because of productive bowling from Wagga’s Jon Nicoll (3-38), Ben Scicluna (2-19), Seb Graf (2-28) and Dean Crane (2-33).
Forrest said Grills had a bright future.
“He’s a gun,” Forrest said.
“He’s only 18 and he has been threatening to make big scores in the O’Farrell Cup.
“He’s a handy cricketer and we were 4-40 when he came in and he got us to 150.
“Without his innings we probably would have been out for 100.”
Forrest said he was reasonably satisfied with his side’s 153.
“I thought that would be about par,” he said.
“I was hoping for about 175 at the start of the day.
“We were in with a good chance but a couple of bad overs cost us in the end.”