Mecredy delivers for United
CRICKET - GEORGE HEAGNEY
A tight final spell from Phil Mecredy delivered United their second one-day title in a row, with a six-run win over Marist at Manawaroa Park on Saturday.
Marist were getting close to United's modest total of 135 when they were at 124 for eight with Sam Hartley (26) and Nic Carter (15) at the crease.
But Mecredy bowled Hartley, then dismissed Carter caught and bowled in his next over, to win the game.
The United bowlers did a great job of defending the small total as they took regular wickets and had the Marist batsmen struggling, as only Ian Sandbrook with 33 hung in there.
Matt Ball was United's best bowler with three for 29 and Sonpreet Singh, Nathan Hill and Mecredy all took two each.
Earlier Marist had won the toss and put United into bat, and they could only muster what seemed like a below-par score.
Jason McGregor opened the batting and held the innings together, finishing with 45 not out as the rest of the batsmen dropped like flies.
Manpreet Singh's whirlwind innings at number seven helped United through to their total smashing 47 from only 22 balls, including 23 off a Chris Miller over.
The wickets were shared between Nic Carter, Roald Badenhorst, Tom Giesen, and Chris Miller, who took two each.
United captain Robbie James said it was pretty tight but they took regular wickets through the middle, and got Marist's batsmen out early, including Ian Sandbrook.
"When we got him, we really started to believe," James said.
"We always thought we could do it but we knew we had to get a few key guys out. He was the guy for them."
Sandbrook was the big wicket for Marist, as he top-scored with 33 after the rest of the top order had failed.
James said they were confident after the semifinal win, where they also defended a small total.
"We were confident we had enough and the conditions were a big part of that. That score on that pitch was probably worth 200. It wasn't easy to bat. The ball was swinging around, seaming around, not coming on to the bat. Holding up a bit."
United won the one-day competition as top qualifiers last season after the final was rained off, so they were happy to have actually played and got the win this year.
After dominating the back end of the season, finishing top qualifier and having United on the ropes, Marist captain Dave Meiring was disappointed they had let the final slip through their fingers.
"It's one of those things," he said.
"We've made the last three finals, and had one rained out and lost two. Who knows what the story is.
"We'll look to address that a little bit. We're a strong team with only Mouse [Sandbrook] leaving, we'll be looking to put that right."
Meiring said they had been confident after dismissing United and when Sandbrook and Hartley were batting, but they just couldn't get there.
"We didn't get complacent, the boys knew it was half a job done," Meiring said.
Saturday's game had to be moved from Fitzherbert Park because of the wet ground, and it meant the start of play was delayed until noon.
Marist 129 (Ian Sandbrook 33, Sam Hartley 26; Matt Ball 3-29, Sonpreet Singh 2-16, Nathan Hill 2-19, Phil Mecredy 2-28) lost to United 135 (Manpreet Singh 47, Jason McGregor 45*; Nic Carter 2-6, Roald Badenhorst 2-13, Tom Giesen 2-15, Chris Miller 2-45) by six runs.
- Manawatu Standard