SOUTH Gawler may have claimed the Barossa & Light A1 cricket minor premiership, but a surprise loss to Gilbert Valley on Saturday, fronted by a stunning 147-run knock by Kym Vandeleur, puts the Lions on the back foot heading into finals.
South had a formidable 244 runs to defend on the weekend, but the Bulls proved they, too, are a finals-quality side, charging
to 9/270 in reply, to win by two wickets.
Earlier, Bulls’ captain Matt Norman fell for just five runs to start the chase, caught by Brodie Barker off the bowling
of Darcy Judd-Smith (3/62).
Craig Mullins (18) chipped in for a 29- run second-wicket partnership before he was caught behind by wicket-keeper Jacob
Ahern off the bowling of Matt Knight (2/47).
From there, Thomas Smith and Kym Vandeleur combined for a 101-run stand, before the former became Knight’s second victim, out for 36.
From there, James Vandeleur was run out for 18, but the Bulls were ticking along nicely at 4/175 and the Lions’ total
looked more than achievable.
While it may not reflect it on the scoresheet, Jack Vater (21) played one of the most crucial roles throughout the innings, acting as the ultimate wingman for Vandeleur during a 63-run fifth-wicket partnership.
Vater’s dismissal, at the hands of spinner David Golder, left the Bulls just seven runs for victory with five wickets remaining.
Gilbert Valley had a few nervous moments, losing two quick wickets for no score, before Thomas Vater (four not out) and Vandeleur got the side home.
Vandeleur’s Herculean knock ended not long after, with the Bulls keeping one wicket in hand at the end of their 75 overs.