The ninth edition of the Spartan Scorecard Series is now upon us, and better yet it is actually a double-whammy, as we look at two incredibly close finishes in the finals that saw the Spartans become premiership champions back in 2013!

The four scorecards below form the ninth edition of the ever-popular The Spartan Scorecard Series and looks at what transpired in the Fifth Grade (the Spartan’s third side) in the 2012/13 season under the captaincy of Shayne Hersey.

We entered the finals series of the Fifth Grade’s two-day competition having finished in fourth place, and were first to take on the Minor Premiers in Cockburn at their fortress at Davilak Reserve. The semi-final took place on the weekend of the 9th March 2013 and was a re-match from two rounds earlier when Cockburn stormed home to win by a whopping 128 runs and essentially seal up top spot on the ladder.

The match incredibly went the Spartans way as we won a nail biter by just one wicket when chasing 171.

After winning the semi-final against Minor Premiers Cockburn by just one wicket it was off to the final against the old enemy CBC – and whatever fingernails we had left were surely chewed up completely by the end of the grand final!

The grand finale took place a week later on the weekend of March 16th against CBC and again away from home at Karoonda Reserve, with yet another victory by a tiny margin. On both occasions we were fielding first, and it was our ability to chase a score that proved to be the difference, even though it was scarily close throughout the innings.

The second time around it seemed, we decided to at least have another wicket in hand when we chased down the total, winning the game – and thereby the premiership – by just two wickets!

It was a pivotal victory coming from fourth position to win the competition, and was the start of a dominant period for the Leeming Spartan Cricket Club’s third team – as they would win or feature in the grand final for the next several seasons.

The two matches, as you’ll see below, saw quite a remarkable achievement that meant we won the premiership by two of the slimmest margins possible. So without further ado, let’s get into it!

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The Semi-Final Against Cockburn:

The Cockburn Innings – Click/Tap For Larger Version

The Spartan Innings – Click/Tap For Larger Version

The Semi-Final Against Cockburn:

After winning the toss and electing to bat, the minor premiers Cockburn were looking to get off to a flyer – but with the first two overs resulting in maidens it wasn’t until the third when they started to get the ball away, taking nine from it to swing back the momentum.

It was short lived though as the first wicket fell in the ninth over with just sixteen on the board, before a very solid partnership of 67 helped get them back on top. The score of 2/83 then became 3/100 when Cockburn’s top scorer for the innings was cleaned up by Spartan Life Member Sean Wright for 61.

The innings continued to progress evenly in what was very similar to a game of chess, with both sides taking turns in delivering decisive blows. It was an excellent innings of cricket it has to be said, with both teams playing fierce and competitive cricket throughout.

The Cockburn batsmen all got starts but none could capitalise on the opportunity, as the Spartans took wickets frequently to keep pressing throughout. Eventually though, Cockburn were dismissed in the sixty-second over for a competitive 171.

Dave McKay was the star with the ball, claiming 4/17 for the Spartans, whilst Sean Wright contributed well in claiming both openers to finish with 2/32.

We were set 171 for victory – a tricky target that meant both sides were well and truly in with a shot, in what was an innings that really was deserving of its semi-final status as it proved to be a great tussle between two highly competitive sides.

With that saw the Leeming Spartan Cricket Club head into bat to try chase the total set earlier by Cockburn, and with nine overs still to bat on day one it was the opposition who would have been licking their lips at the chance claim a few early wickets.

The Spartan Reply:

It is evident from our scorecard that our innings did not start all that well. After seeing out the first six overs without issue, both openers were soon quickly back in the sheds – each falling for four, with Whitely and Webber both out LBW to Cockburn’s opener Hall.

This left us in a precarious 2/15 after nine overs at stumps on day one, and the following day’s play did not start any better when number three Jason Cunningham was dismissed without scoring. 3/15 soon worsened to 4/30 and then 5/37 when Dave McKay and James Leunig found themselves back in the pavilion.

It was going to take something special to resurrect the innings, and it was to be our lower order who stood up and ensured we would get over the line by a whisker.

We had reached 6/52, still 120 runs in arrears, before numbers 8, 9 and 10 all took to the task with superiority and their efforts, along with one of the most important scores of naught not out by our number eleven Shannon Davies ensured we would win the match by the slimmest of margins.

Number eight Sumeet Panesar scored an excellent 19, but even so, his dismissal left us 8/83 and still well short of the 172 for victory.

Enter Sre Natarajan and Sean Wright – both perennial figures in the Spartan third grade. The two combined for a critical 81-run partnership to steal the game away from the Minor Premiers, with Sre finishing unbeaten on 29 and Wrighty playing one of the best knocks at number ten in Spartan history, to finish with a match-high of 66.

Their partnership resurrected the Spartan innings and got us to within touching distance of victory from nowhere, but when Wright fell the score read 9/164 and all of a sudden Cockburn would have thought they were not only back in it, but had the upper hand. Thankfully, it wasn’t to be though as Sre made sure to get the job done quickly and save any more heart-racing moments, hitting a six late and seeing us to victory.

We had won by a whisker – just one wicket – after coming from nowhere to defeat the minor premiers!

In the end we had knocked off the reigning premiers score of 172 in the most extraordinary fashion, winning by just one wicket after having been reduced to 8/83! A stellar performance and some incredible late order batting meant we had come from fourth place to reach the grand final next week.

The Spartans had put on a miraculous show and held their nerve, and although the nail-biting finish may have taken a few years off of those spectating, we were nevertheless on our way into the grand final a week later!

The Grand-Final Against CBC:

The CBC Innings – Click/Tap For Larger Version

The Spartan Innings – Click/Tap For Larger Version

The CBC Innings:

The Spartans had scraped into the Grand Final with a miraculous come-from-behind victory over table-toppers Cockburn and were next to face CBC a week later, who had finished third and had knocked off East Fremantle in their semi-final.

We again lost the toss and were in the field on day one, and it was to again be the Sean Wright show for the Leeming Spartan Cricket Club – this time with ball in hand, as he claimed incredibly, the first six wickets of the match!

CBC lost two early and were reduced to 2/11 and then 3/29 as Wrighty ran rampant in the first fifteen overs of the match.

Some excellent batting up top with 54 from Craig Carter helped steady one end, and he alongside number five Chris Basile put on a vital 62-run partnership to turn the game, but it was to go no further as Wright returned after tea to claim his fourth and leave CBC at 4/91.

Sean Wright claimed the first six wickets of the CBC innings in a ferocious display of bowling in the biggest game of the year to finish with 6/47 from twenty-five overs.

When Wright claimed his sixth, the scoreline read 6/135, and we were a real chance of closing off the innings. In something of a taste of our own medicine from the weekend before though, the opposition tail wagged well to help take them to a very competitive score of 189.

Interestingly, all ten wickets were shared between two bowlers, with Wright’s six also being extremely well supported by Dave McKay’s 4/51, with the latter claiming the last four vital wickets to end a strong lower-order batting performance.

It was going to be a daunting task to chase 189 in a Grand Final, and CBC, having been 6/135, would have felt they were in front with runs on the board. It again was another great display of cat and mouse between two very competitive sides, and a great day’s cricket saw many changes in momentum as both teams pushed for that killer blow.

Something else that was great to see was the fact that five of the ten wickets were out caught – all by different players. Not something that is too uncommon, but it was extremely important nonetheless to see all the team holding their catches at the most crucial time.

With the day’s play complete and 190 to win, it was off to bed early for a big day of action tomorrow.

The Spartan Reply:

The second day’s play started much the same as the semi-final a week before, with an early wicket falling to put the home side well and truly on top. Thankfully however, there was to be no disastrous middle-order collapse this week as opener Nathan Whitely (sic in the scorecard) and Jason Cunningham putting on a match-turning partnership of 87 to steer momentum back our way.

Whitely was next to go, caught for a fine 25 before Cunningham fell shortly after for a very well-made 59, the highest score of the match. This left us at 3/96, and another solid partnership of 52 between Dawson Britto and keeper Dave McKay, the latter contributing a brilliant 44 that included seven boundaries.

By now we had reached 3/148 and well on our way for victory. When McKay’s wicket fell on the same score however, things took a drastic turn that really had to be seen to be believed, as our next four wickets could muster only five runs, and we went to 4/148, 5/153, 6/153, and then 7/153!

After reaching a solid 3/148, the nightmarish Spartan Shuffle returned at the worst possible time, with four wickets falling for just five runs to leave us reeling at 7/153 – still 38 runs left to win!

Enter once again Sumeet Panesar and Sre Natarajan – numbers eight and nine – again combining for a stellar partnership at the eleventh hour to help get us to within victory.

The two flayed and smashed the ball to all parts in two cool-as-ice innings that took us to 7/173, and now only three maximums away from premiership glory. They had contributed most of the runs in singles, but many were in the air and just out of reach of the fielders meaning everyone was on the edge of their seats throughout the cameo, but nevertheless runs were still being ticked over. 

The eighth wicket then fell when Sumeet was out caught for eight, but the miracle-man from the weekend before Sean Wright was next to come to the crease. He would have been thankful though that there were a lot less runs to get this time around than the week prior. 

He resumed where he left off, scoring a four almost immediately to ease the nerves and get the Spartans to within touching distance.

Together, he and Sre knocked off the remaining runs and took the Leeming Spartan Cricket Club to premiership glory, Sre finishing with 16 not out and Wright unbeaten on 13 with two boundaries to his name. 

The Spartan side celebrated in style, jubilant and overjoyed at their two remarkable victories, with the bittersweet feeling of premiership glory capping off a remarkable fortnight of cricket!

Winners By A Whisker:

Incredibly, coming from fourth position, the Leeming Spartan Cricket Club’s third side had won the premiership in the most incredible and heart-wrenching set of circumstances.

Knocking off the minor premiers by just one wicket in the semi-final and then winning the flag by just two wickets a week later achieved the remarkable feat, and meant the Spartans were victorious.

It was an incredible finals series and one that surely saw plenty of hearts racing with nerves aplenty. In addition though, both the semi final and grand final produced two terrific games of cricket with both sides fighting tooth and nail and putting up considerable totals. To have been on the winning end this time around is something we will cherish for many years to come, and is a reminder of the importance of playing out a full game start to finish!

Congratulations to the Leeming Spartan Cricket Club’s third-eleven in 2013, winning the two-day premiership in style!

The Premiership Photo:

The 2019/20 Spartan Windup – Saturday October 10th – Click For More Details!

In Conclusion:

This was the ninth entry in The Spartan Scorecards Series, and with plenty of matches to list, we hope to bring you a new entry as often as possible during the off-season! Be sure to stay tuned to our website, and consider subscribing to our Email Newsletter if you haven’t done so already – that way you’ll never miss an entry!

We also encourage anyone with scorecards at home to send a photo of them in – we’ll be sure to feature them on the series! Simply click here to submit one!

Finally, be sure to RSVP for the Spartan Windup on October 10th – it is completely free this year with entry and dinner all taken care of (excludes drinks), plus of course the presentations and massive announcements as we finally get to celebrate the end of the 2019/20 season!

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