OLD Bar remain on track to claim Manning cricket's first grade triple crown by defeating United in the final of the Johnny Martin Cup one day competition at the Johnny Martin Oval.
Earlier this season Old Bar won the T/20 final and are favoured to retain the premiership won last season.
United captain Ricky Campbell won the toss and quickly elected to bat on a dead pitch. Old Bar opening bowlers David Rees and Mark Burgess got their side off to a sound start, producing some good deliveries. Rees took two wickets after he had Laurie Weekes LBW for 19 and Matt Collier caught behind for 6. This left United at 2/40.
Ricky Campbell joined Josh Ferris at the crease and Old Bar knew breaking this partnership was vital to their chances. Despite some excellent bowling from Brendan Fuller United went to drinks at 2/80 after 20 overs. Old Bar captain Tim Rees introduced Jamie Hartland into the attack with immediate success when he had Campbell caught behind for 19, making the score 3/91. Hartland bowled Ferris for 38 with the score on 99. When Rees removed Dean Mills for 4 United were 5/127 off 30 overs.
Old Bar were looking to wrap the innings up however Sean Carr and Matt Kenewell had very different ideas, dispatching the attack to all parts of the ground in an all out assault. Kenewell was bowled last ball for a superb 69 while Carr remained not out for 56 and United set an imposing 237 for victory.
David Rees with 2/37 from eight was the most successful bowler with Burgess returning 0/14 (4), Fuller 0/34 (8), Michael Rees 0/44 (8), Hartland 2/56(8) and Tim Rees 2/49 (4).
Michael Rees and Jamie Hartland opened the innings for Old Bar but a great delivery from Jackson Witts saw Hartland bowled second ball for a duck with Old Bar 1/0.
Ben Cole was next in and he also received a great ball from Witts to be bowled for 12 to have Old Bar reeling at 2/17. Tim Rees joined his brother at the crease determined to restore order to the run chase and they took the score to 64 when a terrible mix up saw Tim Rees well short to be run out for 12 and Old Bar struggling at 3/64. David Rees joined Michael at the crease and together they took the score to 123 when Michael was adjudged LBW off Campbell for an extremely well made 73. There was a mini collapse with David Rees out 14 (5/124) and Bevan Coleman 2 (6/130). With more than 100 still needed and the overs running out Old Bar knew something special was needed to defend their title. Mark Burgess and Mick Whitton certainly delivered, with both batsmen finding the boundary rope often enough to keep the innings progressing near the required run rate. After a superb partnership of 69 Burgess was out caught for a vital 37 and Old Bar was 6/199. This was the last wicket Old Bar lost with Alex Studdart (11no) and Resource Recovery players' player Mick Whitton a tremendous undefeated 58 guiding their team to victory with two overs to spare.
"I'm so proud of the side again today, it seems no matter the situation we get ourselves in we find a way to bring it home in these big games,''Old Bar skipper Tim Rees said.
"We hadn't played in a month and we were playing against a seriously good cricket team. Michael and David (Rees) again led the way with bat and ball respectively, there's a reason they, with Jamie, have won more titles than I can think of. We couldn't do it without guys like Brock Stewart, James Thompson and Alex Studdart who are the heart of this side, but really it was Mick Whitton's day today.
"I called him at 8.30 on Friday night to play after Paxton Kelly pulled out and as always he was happy to fill in. For him to produce an innings like that in this game, it really was just awesome to be able to watch it.
"We can't rest on our laurels now though, we've got two finals from two but the real stuff starts now."