Maitland's under-16 representative crickets have been crowned IDCA champions in a remarkable debut season in the Sydney-based competition.
The youngsters claimed the trophy when lightning forced a halt to Sunday’s final against Penrith at Lorn Park.
But they earned their title, finishing on top of the competition and being well in command before play was finally called off because of the on-going threat of lightning.
The lightning policy was also employed in the John Bull Shield final between Maitland and Singleton at Robins Oval, however, the two teams will return next week to play again.
In the shield final Maitland had dismissed Singleton for 239 in the 43rd over and were 2/113 in reply in the 28th over, with prodigiously talented 16-year-old Will Fort not out on 68 and Matt Trappel on two.
Under the competition rules, Maitland had faced the prospect of having to make more than 10 runs an over in a reduced over game as the Duckworth Lewis system, which allows for wickets taken and wickets in hand in setting a revised target, is not employed.
However, across at Lorn Park there were no doubts about the result even with a revised target.
Maitland posted an impressive 5/237 from their 50 overs with Matt Lynch top scoring with 59. Sam Jordan was run out on 49, Isaac Barry made 35 and Will Stoneman and Jessie Budden were not out on 40 and 16 respectively.
Penrith were on the back foot early with Sam Parkinson and Luke Farthing running out the first two Panthers’ batsmen to leave them at 2/8. It became 3-8 and 4-21 courtesy of wickets to Cameron Wynn and Jock Vivers.
The visitors had lifted their total to 4/89 in the 26th over when play was halted.
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Coach Mitch Field said it was disappointing for both teams that lightning had prevented the game from being played out.
However, he said in the end the result was not in doubt and Maitland had deserved the victory.
“To finish on top and win the title in their first year in the IDCA competition is an incredible effort by the boys,” Field said.
“They have been so committed to each other and getting the best out of themselves. They have been a delight to coach and each of them has developed so much during the season.
“I think one of the real features is that throughout the series everyone of the boys who played contributed to our wins.
“We only dropped one game and that was in the last over of the match with a team which featured some of the younger boys in the squad to give them experience.
“Our batsmen were terrific in the final and our fielding was exceptional.
“The two run out were the result of some terrific fielding and Penrith were never able to fully recover.”
Maitland’s under-14 IDCA team fell short against NWS Hurricanes in the final of the under-14 comp.
The Hurricanes posted 187. Maitland’s Denzel O'Brien took 3-35 and Jay Boyd and Nicholas Bourke picked up two wickets each.
Maitland were dismissed for 106. Max Farmer top scored with 19