Yass’s attempt to take the O’Farrell Cup from Leeton went down to the wire on Sunday, but unfortunately it went the way of the defending champions.
Both teams were closely matched on the day. Yass Yabbies captain Dave Field said that there was very little separating the two, and noted that the difference seemed to lie in the home side’s miserly bowling attack.
“They were just a bit better on the day really, there was nothing between the two teams,” Field said.
“They probably just bowled a little bit better and fielded a little bit better than us on the day, a bit tighter.”
Yass lost the toss and were sent in to field at the picturesque Mark Taylor Oval, which was bathed in sunshine and bore a pitch that appeared good for batters.
Leeton’s innings was unsteady, and at the first drinks break they were 3/62.
However, courtesy of a fighting 56 from Daniel Muir, they managed to cobble together a daunting total of 201 all out.
The damage might have been worse, but luckily Beau Walker’s 4/35 managed to restrict the home side.
Despite the ground’s benign appearance, they say you can never judge a pitch until both teams have batted, and that advice seemed more poignant than usual when Yass lost early wickets and fell to 2/30 off 18 overs.
Luckily, adversity tends to bring out the best in the Yass captain, and he combined with Nick Pollack to put on 86 for the third wicket.
When Pollack fell for a typically swashbuckling 42, Yass stuttered again, and quickly fell from 3/101 to 6/151 with nine overs remaining.
At the start of Yass’s innings, Field was optimistic, but he suspected from the way the pitch was playing and the way Leeton was bowling early that it would be a tough call.
“I knew it’d be close, I thought if we were going to get there it’d take most of the overs,” Field said.
“It was always pretty even, no-one was really in front.
“But they got the job done in the end, unfortunately for us.”
Eventually, Yass reached the final five overs needing 28 runs with four wickets in hand.
Although they were within touching distance, the final wicket fell in the second last over, while they still required six runs.
Leeton captain Nathan Carn, who also picked up four wickets, praised his team’s ability to perform under pressure.
“We got there eventually but it went down to the wire,” Carn said.
“It was closer than we would have wanted.”
Despite the scarcity with which Yass has contested the O’Farrell Cup in the past, Field is adamant that he and his team can get another shot in the near future.
“I think we will challenge for it again in the next year or so, for sure,” Field said.
“Lots of people mentioned that straight after the game.”