A severely weakened St Patrick’s has scored a pulsating five-run win over New City.
The Patties were cruising after ripping through the Phoenix, but an 89-run last-wicket stand between Sam Grant and Dan Baker had the home team within one shot of a miraculous win.
“I didn’t get nervous, the team might have … they had to do a lot right to win the game, we did a few things wrong too, don’t get me wrong,” coach James Kreutzberger said.
Englishman Grant, who has played four first-class matches, came to the wicket at 9-115, chasing the visitors’ 209.
I didn’t get nervous, the team might have … they had to do a lot right to win the game, we did a few things wrong too, don’t get me wrong.James Kreutzberger
“Grant’s not a number 11 batsman,” Kreutzberger said.
‘Gee, he hit the ball well.”
Grant had made just 18 runs in his previous four innings, but unleashed on the Patties’ understrength attack.
The club was missing its best bowlers in paceman Jarryd Hatton (Riverina commitments) and off-spinner Kane Arendarcikas (unavailable) as Grant unleashed on the attack.
Dan Baker was batting at 10 after he had a three-week period at number three, with the pair needing 21 from the last two overs.
Luke Restall, who had bowled just one ball for the season prior to Saturday’s two-over stint, had the penultimate over before another part-timer in Neil Smith took the final over, dismissing Grant for 64.
Grant had hammered four sixes and five boundaries, while Baker was unbeaten on 20 as New City finished on 204.
“We had a batting line-up, so it was a great win, considering who we were missing,” Kreutzberger said.
The inspirational win has pushed the Patties into fifth spot, with a three-three win-loss record, and could prove the catalyst to guarantee last year’s finals’ wipeout remains a one-off.
Opener Nick Flood scored 46 from 67 balls in his first game back at provincial level after an overseas stint.
And Nick Brown continued his consistent run, making an unbeaten 50 at number six.
“He’s featured in a lot of our partnerships, he’s done really well,” Kreutzberger said.
The number six and Andrew Gibson combined in a crucial 60-run stand for the eighth wicket.
“Andrew did a great job as well, he captained our B grade premiership two years ago and hits the ball really well,” Kreutzberger said.
“He’s been batting at number six, but we batted him at nine.
“We’ve got four or five blokes who we’re going to roll through that seven, eight, nine, 10 position.
“I could have even batted at 10 too.”
St Pat’s youngster Eddie Keogh played his first game in the top grade this season after three matches last year.
Grant was also outstanding with the ball, snaring 4-32.
But his hard work was butchered by the batting.