Manly Warringah U/13 Division 2 representative team have come from fourth on the ladder to win the JH Creak Shield grand final at Gannons Park, Peakhurst, on Sunday.
Taking on Penrith, the junior club of Australia’s Test cricket captain Pat Cummins, in the NSW Youth Championships decider, the northern beaches boys rolled the Panthers for 109 in 33.5 overs before running down the score for the loss of three wickets in 28.1 overs.
After winning the toss and sending Penrith in, captain Will Cunningham opened the bowling along with Archie Cooper, who took the first wicket when a delivery took bat and then helmet and ballooned to first slip Will Jenkin.
In the blink of an eye Penrith were 2/16 when Jenkin’s twin brother Guy effected a superb run-out after attacking the ball and throwing the stumps down from 15m and near enough square on.
The Jenkin brothers would have a whale of a game, with two wickets, three catches and a run out between them.
There followed a pesky 28-run stand that was broken by another run-out, this time Cunningham combining with Oliver Cassie.
Yet the turning point came when Cunningham brought on and astutely backed his spinners: Freddie Schneidereit (3/17), Dylan Thompson (0/14), Henry Matthews (0/11) and Will Jenkin (2/7) who built pressure and took regular wickets through the innings.
Schneidereit’s and Thompson’s left-arm, right-arm orthodox spin combination mesmerised the opposition and delivered the knockout blows that ultimately bowled Penrith out cheaply.
Best for Manly was captain Cunningham, vice-captain and No.3 Aidan Kurtis who hit 25 runs and took a catch, and player of the match Jayden Cook, who took a wicket, batted for an hour and struck four boundaries in his unbeaten 31.
Manly coach Grant Thompson said his team’s “gap hitting and running between the wickets was a real highlight for the batting unit – they played the conditions superbly.”
“But then they did most things well – particularly their fielding, which was most pleasing.
“The boys had energy, backed each other up, took their chances and executed under pressure. All the hard work over the season paid off.
“The boys have learned to work together as a cohesive team. They work hard to get the basics right and enjoy doing it.
“Our fielding has won us most games,” Thompson said.
Thompson also paid tribute to team manager Nick Kurtis and assistant coach Dan Cunningham for “their tireless support and help” and to the great support of parents, family and friends.