Kealba-Green Gully has scaled the heights once more in the North West Metropolitan Cricket Association.
A remarkable fifth Luscombe Shield in six seasons means the Cougars’ winning dynasty continues.
A rare premiership three-peat was complete on Sunday with an 80-run victory over Gladstone Park in the grand final at Green Gully Reserve.
Cougars captain Evan Long said the club was special.
“Barring one grand final four years ago when Pascoe Vale and Cameron Hare beat us, we’ve had five premiership successes out of six and three in a row.
“We’ve worked it out that there’s four players that have played in all five premierships, three have played in four. We had one recruit [Roshan Laksiri] and it’s his first, but everyone else it’s either their second or third.
“That core group of players we’ve got coming up are all mid-20s or 30 years of age. The fact we’re able to keep them all together, and they’ve got that hunger and want to achieve it all again – I’m glad that I’m a part of it.”
Kealba-Green Gully was not always comfortable in the grand final.
In fact, for most of day one, it appeared as though Gladstone Park could coast to the title.
The Cougars got valuable contributions from Matt Nadzielski (43), Long (24) and Brody Psaila (25), but at 9-119, they weren’t going to be popping the corks off the champagne bottles any time soon.
It took an astonishing 90-run 10th wicket partnership between Jarrod Catania (48) and Divesh Kumar (38no) to give Kealba-Green Gully a pulse.
It was undoubtedly the most important partnerships of their careers.
“That last-wicket partnership proved the difference in the end,” Long said.
Kealba-Green Gully suddenly had 209 runs to play with.
Any chase beyond 200 is tough in a grand final and Gladstone Park could not get anywhere near the target.
Catania was named man of the match, beating out the unlucky Gladstone Park new ball operator Francis Keenan, who took 7-37.
Catania not only provided the runs, but got the job done with the ball too, finishing with three wickets.
Catania’s starring role with the bat might not have been. He offered up a chance when he was on two and was dropped.
Catania needed no second invitation to get Kealba-Green Gully back in the match as his fighting qualities shone through.
“It would’ve made a massive difference if they caught him,” Long said.
“We could’ve been out for 130 or something like that and instead we ended up making 209.
“Jarrod’s the heart and soul of the club. He always gives 100 per cent and he stood up and did the job.”
Danny Viani added four wickets and Laksiri claimed two before Kumar took the winning wicket that sealed another premiership for Kealba-Green Gully.
“It set off some pretty good celebrations,” Long said.