Sport

GVBBL grand final | Mud Dogs pinch title in dying moments

By Tyler Maher

The inaugural Goulburn Valley Bush Bash League title landed in the hands of the SRP Mud Dogs yesterday after a thrilling finale at Deakin Reserve.

The Rohan Larkin and Bryan Doyle-coached outfit claimed a one-wicket win over the Hurley's Hotel Hounds, almost making a meal of a small chase with a late collapse.

But Joel Brett stood firm and delivered Crane Aid GVBBL glory to his side with a match-winning - and unbeaten - 46 from 38 deliveries.

That the sundries column of 11 was the second-highest scorer for the champions showcased how tight the contest turned out to be.

After being sent in to bat the Hounds lost Tom Donnell for one before steadying the ship well through Brenton Campbell (27) and Kyle Mueller (15), but regular wickets towards the end of their innings saw their total peter out to 6-102.

Jedd Wright (16), Michael Archer (15 not out) and Matt Hinks (12 not out) worked hard for their runs, but Mark Nolan (3-16) and Liam Smith (2-12) proved too good with ball in hand to set up the clash well for the home side.

The Hounds fought hard with the ball and in the field themselves - claiming three run-outs across the innings - but with the Mud Dogs 3-62 and cruising after Brett had welcomed Wright to the bowling crease with back-to-back maximums the grand final looked done and dusted.

But Wright closed out the over with the wicket of Liam Hocking (six) to kick-start a mini collapse of 3-15 and send some nerves jangling in the Orange Army.

As they had already done earlier in the tournament, Brett and Keegan Armstrong (four) combined for an important partnership - this one worth 18 runs - but when the latter nicked-off to Jackson McLay (2-13) all hell broke loose.

Scott Richardson came and went for a duck after being bowled around his legs by Darin Ohlsen before Mark Nolan followed suit in a mix-up between the wickets to have the Mud Dogs nine-down and still seven runs from success.

Liam Smith entered the fray and had to survive an almighty shout for LBW in the penultimate over before Brett showed great faith in the number 11 to give him the strike in the final moments of the game with a single.

Smith delivered on his teammate's confidence by flicking Campbell to fine-leg for three, tying the scores and leaving Brett on strike for the eventual wide, which steered the Mud Dogs to the victory target.

THE GAME

Hurley's Hotel Hounds 6-102 (Brenton Campbell 27, Jedd Wright 16, Mark Nolan 3-16, Liam Smith 2-12) lt SRP Mud Dogs 9-103 (Joel Brett 46 not out, Mitch Winter-Irving 10, Jackson McLay 2-13, Matt Hinks 2-22).

STAR PLAYER

Joel Brett (SRP Mud Dogs): Brett played almost a lone hand with the bat for the Mud Dogs in a tight chase, finishing with an unbeaten 46 from 38 deliveries. His knock included three towering sixes and a pair of fours.