Katandra claims T20 glory

By Alex Mitchell

An all-round Andrew Riordan masterclass carried Katandra to the easiest of Cricket Shepparton Twenty20 grand final wins on Thursday night.

In Mooroopna, the classy Eagles soared to a 75-run win, which was not in doubt for much of the contest, a staggering Northerners batting collapse of 9-26 meaning fans could be tucked up in bed earlier than anticipated.

Riordan’s output — 37 runs off 26 balls and a ripping 5-14 with the ball — earned him the Ian Sartori Medal by the length of the Flemington straight, easily his side’s most valuable player in both innings.

Katandra has now won each of Cricket Shepparton’s A-grade trophies since November 2017, adding the Twenty20 belt to last season’s one-day and Haisman Shield double.

Eagles’ president Andrew Nicholls said it was a great time to be involved with a great club.

‘‘It’s obviously nice to be in a position where our club is in a lot of these games at the moment,’’ he said.

‘‘We’re really happy that we’re just ticking along nicely. That’s five finals out of the last six for us which is really, really important for our club.’’

The only moments of doubt for Katandra came soon after winning the toss and batting, with Ben Clurey (six) and Jedd Wright (five) back in the sheds early to leave them 2-16.

But from there the Jets were mostly on the back foot, captain Luke Nolan (32) and Hadleigh Sirett (18) steadying things with a 40-run partnership before both fell, Josh Sidebottom trapping the skipper LBW for his second scalp of the game.

Riordan and Scott Richardson (14) met in the middle at 4-68 and set about driving their side to a match-winning total of 7-138, with each Jet bowler finishing with a wicket.

Chasing a tough target, the Jets lost Glen Davidson early for two as he was beaten by the electric pace of Corey Hickford, but influential Joel Brett (21) and Andrew Boyington (10) got them moving along to 1-37.

From there, though, it all went pear-shaped, Brett’s cheap dismissal in which he chipped the ball to Wright off Richardson’s bowling sparking a collapse his side could not even begin to claw back from.

Spinners Riordan (5-14) and Wright (2-8) were as good as unplayable with no Jet joining Brett and Boyington in double figures.

President Nicholls said the result made up for last season’s T20 grand final defeat, with the bowling display the shining light.

‘‘Twenty20’s a funny game, you never know what you’re going to get with it when you turn up,’’ he said.

‘‘Last year we didn’t have the runs on the board and the Ky blokes were too good for us. I think in cricket, especially games like this, it helps when you bat first and get the runs on the board.

‘‘We bowled well at the start and obviously the spinners, Riordo with his five but I thought Jedd did a great job as well. We were pretty confident with our bowling attack we were going to be able to defend 140.’’

●Central Park-St Brendan’s talent Connor Holland was named player of the tournament honours, for his 79 against Shepparton United as well as six wickets in two games.