Great Southern fail to defend cricket title

Noarlunga's Sam Carlyle behind the stumps with captain Jason Scarff representing Great Southern in the Meyer Shield.
Noarlunga's Sam Carlyle behind the stumps with captain Jason Scarff representing Great Southern in the Meyer Shield.

This year’s Meyer Shield competition was hosted by Alexandrina & Eastern Hills and due to the high temperatures for the first time in its history the Shield format was changed to a T20 format.

After winning the title last year the local Great Southern lads went in with high hopes as they took on Hills Cricket Association on the Friday, January 26, Australia Day at Ashbourne Oval. 

With skipper Scarff winning the toss he chose to bowl first with the decision paying early dividends as Crees removed the dangerous Reid brothers early on and the strong Hills side in trouble at 4/34. 

A solid partnership between Featherstone (54 from 39) and Goulding (28 from 15) saw them recover to eventually post a very competitive score of 9/135 from their twenty overs. 

Jayden Crees was the standout with the ball for the Crays returning the superb figures of 3/10 with Evans (2/37), Hynes (1/18), Goldner (1/20) and Kuss (1/31) all chipping in with wickets.

Crees bowled a consistent line and length, which troubled all the batsmen he bowled to and his economy was truly outstanding. 

The Ashbourne pitch was playing very well, with something there for the bowler, but also a great batting deck for the batsman that worked his way into an innings.

It was a total, which was not insurmountable for the strong Great Southern batting lineup, so it was up to batsmen to keep the hopes of back top back Meyer Shield titles alive. 

In reply Great Southern started well with Bullard (21 from 16) getting the side off to a flyer, but when he fell to Goulding it triggered a mini collapse, which saw the Crays fall to 4/30. All of a sudden the dream of scoring 136 for victory seemed a long way off. 

The Great Southern team struggled through the rest of the innings due largely to a fine spell of bowling from Petty who finished with 3/16 including the prize wicket of Matt Overall.

Scarff (42 from 39) did his best to keep Great Southern in the match, but when he fell the game was all but over with Great Southern finishing on 7/107 in what was a disappointing loss.