20 March, 2024

Natimuk claim C-Grade Premiership

Natimuk claimed a four-wicket win in the C-Grade Horsham Cricket Association grand final over the Colts at Dimboola Road Oval on Saturday.

By Chris Graetz

Natimuk celebrating their premiership success.
Natimuk celebrating their premiership success.

Natimuk bowled first after losing the toss and Jeremy Schmidt, 3/13 and Lachlan Hutchinson, 3/12 were the stars for Natimuk as they bowled the Colts out for 72. The Colts never got momentum as the Natimuk bowlers bowled tight lines and length.

It wasn't an easy chase as Natimuk fell to 4/24 after Austin Simpson rattled the top order.
Ben Garwood and Jeremy Schmidt helped rebuild the innings, and it was Alex Baker who hit the winning runs in the 32nd over, finishing on 6/75.

Garwood scored 21 and Schmidt 19. Schmidt's innings with the bat and ball was enough to earn him man of the match honours.

For Natimuk, this was a massive victory as it was their second year back following an eight-year hiatus.

Jeremy Schmidt was captain for the last two weeks as Tom Murray got Covid ahead of the qualifying final against Lubeck Murtoa and decided not to change the winning team.
Schmidt said it was a massive win as they are a close-knit group.

"It is exciting for the club to be able to get a premiership on the board, especially in our second year back," Schmidt said.

"I am proud of the group. There was a lot of excitement after the game. The best thing about the group of guys we have is that everyone is keen on training and we all are a group of mates.

"We have 13-14 players that train Tuesday's and Thursday's to enjoy each other's company and have a hit of cricket. We are a friendly team and have a lot of fun together and that helped with the success."

Schmidt praised Tom Murray for his decision not to play.

"He didn't want to change a winning team and it would have been a tough choice to drop someone, so he decided it was best for the team if he didn't play," he explained.

Schmidt said they knew they were always a chance with their best team on the park.

"I thought with our best team on the park we were good enough to beat anyone and we managed to do that to Lubeck Murtoa in the first final," he said.

"The bowling was our strength this year as we were able to keep teams to low totals. We just got over the mark in a close game but we will take it."

Schmidt said he felt good being able to perform for the team as man of the match.

"It felt good to perform, especially with the bowling. I haven't taken many wickets lately and to do it on the big stage was huge. It was good to get wickets at vital moments," he said.

"When we were four down, we had already faced most of their good bowlers so the plan was to keep out their good bowlers.

"When I got to the crease it was a plan to build a partnership and you just need to build little partnerships when chasing a low total and we did that."


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