AN agonising one-run loss in the last over hasn’t stopped Cricket Albury-Wodonga from sneaking into tomorrow’s Ray Rolfe Shield final.
CAW will take on Wangaratta in the under-16 decider after it scraped through to the final on percentage following a thriller against CAW Country yesterday.
A brilliant run-out in the final over by Alex Paech handed CAW Country its first win of the North East Junior Cricket Carnival on the final day of play before finals.
Country’s CAW rivals needed two runs to win when Zach Leach and Josh Barrett set off for a run on the second last ball of the game.
But Paech swooped on the ball, catching Leach short of his ground with a direct hit.
Despite the narrow loss, it was CAW which made it through following Wangaratta’s easy win over Wagga.
CAW, CAW Country and Wagga each won one of their three games, with Wangaratta unbeaten after three days.
CAW coach Brett Brown was disappointed to lose the match, but credited CAW Country for its performance.
“We definitely thought we should have got that score, but full credit to them, they bowled really well,” he said.
“It was a really challenging deck and their bowling was tight.”
Keegan Jenkins was the chief destroyer for CAW Country, snaring an impressive 4-9 from his 10 overs.
Brown was the first to admit CAW had to lift its game if it wanted to seriously challenge Wangaratta in the decider.
“We’ve definitely got work to do, particularly in the field,” Brown said.
“We dropped a couple of crucial catches along the way.
“We’ve got to tighten up the bowling, too, because we were short and wide at times.”
And while Wangaratta goes into tomorrow’s final as the undoubted favourite, Brown hasn’t given up hope of causing an upset.
“We’ve definitely got reason to be optimistic,” he said.
“We were only 20 runs shy when we played them the other day.
“We’ve got the talent, we just need to put it together on the day.”
Today is a rest day for all age groups.