A magnificent unbeaten century by Kincumber-Avoca's Steve McCabe has guided Central Coast to a 74 runs win over North Coastal and a spot in the 2018/19 McDonalds NSW Country Championship Final.
It was not easy for the Central Coast however, as they had to fight hard first with the bat to record a very competitive 6/257 off their 50 overs and then survive an early onslaught with the ball before bowling North Coastal out for 183.
After winning their first toss of the carnival and opting to bat first, Central Coast were in early trouble, with Saturday's heroes Adam Taylor and Tony Cornwall both back in the sheds with just 11 runs on the board. Three further wickets saw the Central Coast reeling at 5/49.
Enter McCabe (pictured) and Wyong skipper Hayden Murphy, who proceeded to not only stabalise the innings but then take control of the game with sensible batting and the pair to took the score to 176 (a partnership of 127) before Murphy was dismissed for 63 off 77 balls. Youngster Broc Hardy then joined McCabe and the pair were able to put together an unbeaten 81 run partnership to end the innings and set North Coast a very competitive chase of 268.
McCabe was brilliant finishing on 118 not out off 140 balls and used all his experience to be patient when required but then also taking advantage of the loose ball which enabled him to hit 14 fours and two sixers. Hardy finished with 32 not out off 28 balls with four boundaries and was an excellent foil for McCabe and once again showed the enormous talent the sixteen year old possesses.
North Coastal began the chase in an aggressive manner, with Justin Moore and Caleb Ziebel carry on the form that saw them put on an unbeaten partnership of 262 on Saturday. The pair put on 45 off just six overs before Scott Burkinshaw removed the dangerous Moore. Ziebel and skipper Richie Gallichan then took the score to 123 before the game changed in the space of two balls, First of all Gallichan was caught and bowled by Blair Lindsay and then next ball Ziebel was run out by a direct hit from Hardy for a well made 71 off 71 balls.
After taking four wicket on Saturday, Lindsay again proved very effective with his left arm spin and he joined with keeper Harry Woodhead to pick up a further three wickets, which was interspersed by a second direct hit run out by Hardy. Burkinshaw then returned to the attack to pick up the final two wickets to send the Central Coast to the final.
Lindsay finished with 4/27 off 8 overs to be the most successful bowler, whilst Burkinshaw showed his NSW Country credentials throughout the weekend and was rewarded with 3/34. Chris Archer, Hayden Murphy and Adam Taylor also all bowled well without any success.
Central Coast fielding was a highlight with three run outs proving very crucial.
Entering the Championships with a new line up under the leadership of Peter Gallichan and coach Glenn Rowlands, Central Coast showed plenty of courage to come back from the disappointment of a Round1 loss to win the Carnival. An impressive element of the weekend was the fact that every player made a contribution over the weekend, as opposed to a couple of players dominating.
On now to the final, which will be played on Sunday, November 25 against the winner of the Southern Pool carnival which will be played next weekend.
For full match details click here