Flag dream complete

Pomborneit capped off a dominant season with grand final triumph over perennial contenders Mortlake on Saturday.

POMBORNEIT has returned to South West Cricket’s pinnacle, capping off a near perfect season with a stunning five wicket grand final victory on Saturday.
The Bulls put several years of heartbreak behind them as they brought down powerhouse Mortlake in stunning fashion at S.A. Wright Oval.
Skipper Grant Place said the club was thrilled to win its first premiership since 2008/09 but admitted the achievement was made sweeter after losing their previous two grand final outings to the Cats.
“Right from round one we’ve played good cricket, so it’s nice to finish off the year this way,” he said.
“It’s pleasing to beat such a quality side like Mortlake who have been the powerhouse of the competition for the past 10 years.
“It feels like a long time ago (that we won) the back-to-back flags and we’ve lost a couple in the last 10 years to Mortlake, so it’s nice to get one back on them.”
The Bulls’ win was set up by a commanding bowling performance, which put the Cats under pressure right from the first ball.
They suffocated Mortlake’s ability to score freely, taking regular wickets as they dismissed the Cats for 157.
Man of the match Clinton Place shone on the big stage, tearing through the Cats’ top order to finish with figures of 5/35 from 10 overs.
He was well supported by Steve O’Neill (2/32) and Brad Hillman (2/40) while Lahiru Fernando (1/36) also claimed a wicket.
Grant Place said the Bulls went into the game knowing the Cats’ top order could make or break the game and planned to snare “two or three early wickets”.
“We thought if we could get their middle order into the game and put them under pressure as early as we can then we’d have a great chance of bowling them out and it panned out that way,” Place said.
In reply, the Bulls looked comfortable at the crease from the word go as Dave Murphy (30) and Grant Place (30) laid the foundations for their innings.
While Murphy and Place departed within 12 runs of each other, the Bulls were able to consolidate with ease as Tom Place (14) and Lahiru Fernando (36) continued to run down the target.
A mix up saw their partnership come to an end as Place was run-out but that saw Tharaka Sendanayake stride to the crease to join his countryman.
Together, they brought the Bulls even closer to victory and when Sendanayake crunched a big six over long on and hit the winning runs a few balls later, Pomborneit’s rise to top of the ladder was justified.
Grant Place said his side had heeded several lessons from their batting performance in the semi-final and responded in perfect fashion.
“We just didn’t build partnerships last week and our top six all played bad shots to get out,” he said.
“If we had have batted remotely similar to last week, we wouldn’t have got within cooee of 157.
“But it was a great day with the bat, every time we lost a wicket, we built another partnership and started again.
“I think we probably could have chased down another 50 or 60 runs which was pleasing.”
Mortlake skipper Todd Lamont was disappointed with the result, but conceded his side had been “outplayed on the day”.
“Pomborneit was the better team on the day,” he said.
“They bowled exceptionally well, I think they might have only put one catch down, but other than that their fielding was spot on and same with their batting.
“We were probably little bit off with the bat but even still getting 158 I thought we were a big chance but we just couldn’t get consecutive wickets.
“We’d get one (wicket) and then they’d get a partnership so we just didn’t get any momentum through the bowling innings but we just got outplayed in the end.”
Asked if the Cats would use the loss as a time to reflect on their past achievements, Lamont instead said they would use the experience to come back bigger and stronger.
“I think you sit back and reflect when you win, because when you lose it just doesn’t sit well with you,” he said
“So probably not, but it’ll definitely be motivation for next year.
“Every time we’ve gone out of the finals series not winning, it just doesn’t sit well and you just want to do better.
“We’ll certainly be using it as motivation but credit where credit is due, Pombo was too good.”

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