The 1983-84 first grade final between Northern Districts and City United was a real “cliff-hanger” with the result being determined on the last ball.
At the end of the competition rounds both had finished equal on 43 points and even though Northern Districts had finished ahead on averages, both were declared Joint Minor Premiers.
Northern Districts had advanced to the final by defeating Tenambit-Morpeth in the semi-final, while City United had gained their place by defeating Eastern Suburbs.
After a complete washout on the first weekend, the final was rescheduled for the following weekend.
After winning the toss, City United batted first and made a promising start but after losing skipper, Craig Evans, for 29, the batting line-up collapsed to be six for 80 at the tea interval on the first day.
Ross McKinnon inspired a late order recovery with a fighting 47 and at the end of their batting time on the second day City United were 9 for 191.
Best of Norths’ bowlers was Chris Herron who took 5-53 with his medium pacers off 22 overs. Among his victims were Craig Evans, Rick Marsh, Graham Cannon, Mark Evans and Ross McKinnon.
Norths started steadily but was in trouble at five for 82 after three disastrous run-outs, including that of opener, Peter Rawling, who looked in fine form after hitting 37.
Todd Bowd, 28, and Jeff Crittenden, 23, took advantage of dropped chances to add valuable runs, but at seven for 135 and only 20 overs remaining Norths seemed to be in trouble.
Will Callinan, 28,and Chris Herron, 30 not out, added a further 40 runs before Callinan fell to the bowling of Stan Leayr. Herron continued as the main striker and was the real hero in Norths’ win.
The scores were still even when Paul Mayers faced up to the last ball of the day, but a quick single from a bye, saw Norths clinch the final in a thrilling finish.
Ironically, Norths’ former player and City’s wicketkeeper, Nick Lutovac, fumbled the ball momentarily, which saw Herron and Mayers scurry through for the winning single.