Ringwood have taken out the Bartercard Victorian Premier League cricket title with a resounding win over Monash Tigers at the Junction Oval. The Rams dismissed the Tigers for 184 early on the third day some 167 runs short of the Rams total of 351.
Rams all-rounder, Ian Holland (above), was awarded the John Scholes Medal for man-of-the-match honours scoring 109 with the bat and backing that up with 5-42 with the ball. It is only the second time in the competition’s history a player has scored a century and taken five wickets in a season decider; The other being Sam Loxton for Prahran in 1954-55.
Ringwood skipper Tom Stray won the toss and elected to bat on a flat Junction Oval pitch. They looked in good shape halfway through the final session on day one with Holland and Brendan Walsh at the crease and the score at 3-173.
Their partnership had yielded 75 runs when Walsh was caught in the deep hooking off Jack Taylor. The Tigers were spurred on by the dismissal and quickly grabbed two more scalps to have the Rams 6-214 at stumps with Holland unbeaten on 103 and Patrick Ashton on two.
Perfect conditions greeted players for the second day. The Tigers realising the importance of wrapping up the innings early, struck gold just after play started when Alan Wise trapped Holland in front for 109. They struck again shortly after when Nathan Walsh was caught by Will Sheridan off Wise for eight. The Rams were 8-247 and the match was in the balance.
However the tail wagged. Ashton and Michael Campbell frustrated the Tigers attack combining for a ninth wicket partnership of 88. It was enough to lift the Rams total well over 300 and put them in the box seat to take the title.
Wise was tireless for the Tigers, bowling 40 overs to finish with 4-52 while Jack Taylor picked up 3-53 from 12 overs. The Tigers needed to survive a tense period in the final session but things didn't go to plan. Tom Boxell, who batted superbly the week before in the semi-final against Melbourne, departed second ball, caught behind off Holland.
When Samuel Kerber fell to Matt Fotia the Tigers had capitulated to be 6-25. They lost Andrew Chalkley for 18 to finish the day at 7-63 and the match was all but over. Holland ripping through their top order claiming four scalps.
When play resumed on the third and final day beneath blue skies the Rams had one hand on the pennant. Cameron White had rejoined the Tigers from Tasmania where he had been released from the Bushrangers squad for the Sheffield Shield final. He was soon in the action when Jack Taylor departed and in typical White fashion he didn't muck around.
He clubbed 61 from 68 deliveries including eight boundaries before he became Holland's fifth victim. White had combined with Dominic Matarazzo to add 92 runs for the ninth wicket to breathe a little life into the game. However once he departed the corks began popping as Matarazzo soon joined him back in the pavilion when he was the last man out caught by Brendan Walsh off Fotia. The beer was then we'll and truly flowing as the Rams rejoiced.
It was their third flag after scoring back-to-back victories in the 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 seasons. The Tigers were disappointing but did well to reach the final coming from outside the top eight the previous season. They also claimed the one-day title so can be well pleased with their year.
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